As we mark World Refugee Day, the world is witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record with 79.5 million people on the move fleeing persecution, conflict, and violence. Today, we would like to take a moment to share with business leaders and CSR professionals ways for your company to support education for some of the 3.7 million refugee children who are not going to school and are deprived of a better future.
In the last ten years, the world has seen large-scale displacement and major migration as a result of conflict, extreme violence, political instability, or severe economic uncertainty. In 2019, the global refugee population was 26 million people, half of whom were under the age of 18. Many of these children are deprived of education for an extended period during the most crucial years in their development. According to the UNHCR, there are around 3.7 million refugee children out of school today, that’s more than half of the 7.1 million school-age refugee children. Only 24 percent of refugees continue their education after primary school, compared to 84 percent of the rest of the adolescent population worldwide.
This remains a crisis we cannot ignore. Without access to quality education, the millions of displaced children and youth remain at risk of becoming a “lost generation.”
At the Global Business Coalition for Education, we have been utilizing our REACT platform to reach the most marginalized children by connecting companies and businesses with organizations needing support on the ground. Since we started, more than 18,000 young people have benefited through public-private partnerships, and recently more than 100 companies have shared their resources to limit the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education and learning. Through REACT, we have channeled in-kind and technical support from the business community to help organizations delivering education to refugee children and youth.
How Can Your Company Help Build A Better Future?
However, there are still outstanding needs, especially around high-tech, low-tech, and no-tech solutions to support remote learning, such as electronic devices for learning (laptops, tablets, radios), internet connectivity, digital educational content, support for training, and printing and distribution of educational materials.
Many businesses are still looking for ways to engage not just their philanthropic resources, but the talent of their employee and know-how, to help make the world a more just and equal place, especially for the most marginalized communities. Today we would specifically like to tell you about unmet needs from four organizations on the ground and see if your company could help.
- Thaki focuses on empowering refugee and vulnerable children to learn through electronic education tools. Thaki is seeking laptops and digital content creators to support children in the Middle East and North Africa.
- Social Innovation Academy (SINA) provides support to refugee youth between the ages of 17 to 28 in Uganda to help them create their own social enterprise. SINA is looking for subsidized internet rates, connection through fibre optic cables, or bridge solutions.
- Sadad Humanitarian Organization works on improving access to education and providing a better learning environment for children in Northern Syria. Sadad is looking for learning materials, and means to provide safe access to formal and non-formal education environments.
- Youth Initiative for Development in Africa (YIDA) provides support in early childhood education to children age 3 to 6 in Kyaka II Refugee camp in Uganda. YIDA is looking for assistance with classroom construction.
- Support construction of classrooms
The above is a small selection of outstanding requests we have from our REACT partners. If you are interested in learning more about how your company can support the education of refugee children, email us at REACT@gbc-education.org.