Education Cannot Wait, a funding mechanism implemented with partners, brings quality education to Sahelian children and enables over 1.4 million children to return to school.
The global fund was set up in 2016 at the World Humanitarian Summit to fund the education of children caught up in crisis and violence.
The Sahelian children represent just a part of other children affected by human-made violence and natural disasters. Children in Central Mali have been victims of conflicts, where 280,000 students are deprived of an education due to the shut-down of over 900 schools.
Clear visions of tomorrow for Mali children
The director of Education Cannot Wait, Yasmine Sherif distressed by the sight of perplexed children, fleeing for their lives in Mali, described her experience:
They have fled some horrifying violence in the North. I spoke to several of them – young girls who saw their homes, their huts being burnt down, fleeing from villages where summary executions took place. They are very traumatized, very traumatized.
Notwithstanding the horrific experiences of the children in Mali, they still have clear visions of their tomorrow. Doctors, lawyers, and schoolteachers were some of the professions the children look up to become, and with quality education, the children visions can be achieved, said Sherif.
The Global Fund via Education Cannot Wait has provided $6 million in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger to support education for 187,000 children.
2.4 million out-of-school children benefited
According to the director of Education Cannot Wait, 2.4 million out-of-school children in the Sahel regions will benefit from the funds.
The director said that the activities of Education Cannot Wait were received by governments of the conflict-ridden regions. Aside from the Education Cannot Wait project, partners like the U.N, Children’s Fund and Save the Children implements projects funded by the education fund.
What they are receiving through our investments right now, through our partners on the ground is rehabilitation of classrooms, learning spaces, latrines, distribution of learning materials, hygiene promotion, psycho-social support, teacher training and mobilization of community members to help create the protective environments, Sherif said.
Education Cannot Wait is present in 32 countries, supporting diverse education projects. Countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, and Ukraine have benefited from the project. The agency is seeking to raise $1.8 billion by 2021 to reach 9 million children and youths living in crisis, with 60 percent of the money dedicated to girls’ education.