NEW YORK, USA, 19 December 2007 – Providing education to children in regions and societies affected by conflict – or emerging from it – is a major challenge. Yet communities in conflict-affected areas consistently rank education as a high priority. And they demonstrate astounding resourcefulness and resilience in seeking out and providing schooling for their children.
Education to achieve goals
It has been five years since ‘A World Fit for Children’ was adopted as the plan of action emerging from the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children.
Last week, as in 2002, young delegates convened in New York – this time for ‘A World Fit for Children Plus 5’, a follow-up meeting with the General Assembly to discuss the issues that matter most to them: protection against violence, abuse and exploitation; prevention of HIV; and access to a quality education.
Dahabu Goleeca talked about how critical education was in achieving her goals. “First we want an education,” said Dahabu. “If you educate, in your future, your life will be normal.”
‘Better than diamonds’
While delivering education to countries in the midst of conflict can be complicated, aid agencies have demonstrated that it is not only feasible, but critical to achieving the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals.
“You might have to do it slightly differently if everything was a stable, normal situation,” said Tove Romsaas Wang. “But it is possible. And we have to be willing to take that risk.”
“The children of any country – these are the assets of that country,” added H.E. Dr. Minkailu Bah. “We call them the gems of the country. They are better than diamonds.”
About this Podcast
A discussion about educating children in some of the world’s most challenging contexts, featuring these guests:
H.E. Dr. Minkailu Bah, Minister of Education, Sierra Leone; Tove Romsaas Wang, Chair of the Rewrite the Future Campaign and Chief Operating Officer, Save the Children Norway; Alan Court, Director of UNICEF’s Programme Division; and Duhabo Goleecha, 13, from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.