The Issue

Too many children and young people are missing out on an education. According to the UN, in 2013, almost 65 million children between the ages of 12 and 15 years had been denied their right to an education, and 57 million children of primary school age were out of school. And for many children who do get to go to school, the education they receive is not adequate.

This also leads to a bigger problem – hundreds of millions of adults who have missed out on a decent education, and who do not have the knowledge and skills to earn a living, meet life’s challenges and find a way out of poverty.

Education is a key factor for making positive change in poor communities. When people receive proper education, knowledge and skills, they are more likely to get work, stay healthy, and contribute to the wellbeing of their families and break the cycle of poverty.

Sources: unicef.org

What we are doing

We are working with our partners in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific to improve access to upskilling and community education to help people respond to the challenges they face. In India and the Pacific (Solomon Islands and Vanuatu), women are learning small business skills. In Myanmar we are working to develop community-based savings and loan groups for Karen repatriated refugees from Thailand. And in Ethiopia, we are working with the Afar Pastoralist Development Association to provide a radio station for the largely illiterate Afar people. Education is also a key feature of our work in Mozambique, where we are working with communities learning to take responsibility for community education and action on HIV/AIDS. In the Occupied Palestinian Territories we are helping traumatised Palestinian children to receive support and remedial education. We are also providing community education in Gaza that aims to reduce deaths from breast cancer and stigma associated with the disease.

Get the Facts

  1. Enrolment in primary education in developing countries has reached 91 percent but 57 million children remain out of school.
  2. An estimated 50 percent of out-of-school children of primary school age live in conflict-affected areas.
  3. 103 million youth worldwide lack basic literacy skills, and more than 60 percent of them are women.

Source: un.org

 

Where we are doing it

In the old city in Jerusalem, the Spafford Children’s Center works with vulnerable and disadvantaged children who are often traumatised by conflict and war.

Often such children withdraw and suffer from poor linguistic development and communication skills, which affect their ongoing development and education. The Centre uses a holistic approach to child health that responds to a child’s medical, psychological, social and educational needs.

Children in the special education program receive psychological testing, which enables staff to prepare individual programs of intensive treatment. These programs are often complemented with play therapy, speech therapy, social work and cultural activities. A large majority of children are re-integrated into mainstream kindergartens and schools with great success.

Funding: This project is funded by donations from the Australian public.

Community education is an essential part of our Women’s Health, Women’s Rights project in Gaza that aims to reduce deaths from breast cancer and stigma associated with the disease.

The project is led by Al Ahli Arab Hospital, an Anglican institution run by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. The hospital runs a breast screening clinic so that women can detect cancers earlier and access appropriate treatment sooner.

A range of factors mean that women in Gaza have a high death rate from breast cancer, and a combination of ignorance and cultural beliefs means most women with the disease are shunned.

Community education is essential to help women understand the importance of self-examination and early detection, but also to educate men about the realities of the disease and the need to support women. This community work takes place through a network of more than 30 grassroots organisations.

Funding: This project is funded by grants from the Australian Government’s aid program and donations from the Australian public.

Our partner in Mozambique, the Anglican Diocese of Niassa, leads the Community-led Health and Wellbeing Project (Community Response to HIV) projectwhich includes responses to HIV and AIDS.

The success of this project is built on teams of volunteers from each community – called Equipas de Vida or Teams of Life – taking responsibility for community education and action. This includes door-to-door campaigning to educate communities about how to prevent the spread of HIV, encourage people to be tested, talk about their HIV status and stress the importance of using antiretroviral medication. 

Funding: This project is funded by grants from the Australian Government’s aid program and donations from the Australian public.

 

In Myanmar, we are supporting the work of Five Talents, the Anglican Church of the Province of Myanmar, and Mothers’ Union Myanmar to develop community-based savings and loan groups for Karen repatriated refugees from Thailand to Hpa-An in Myanmar. 

The project involves repatriation of refugees to new communities and includes literacy and financial training, as many of the participants will have had little access to education.

The goal of the project is to empower and provide the micro-entrepreneurial training for 200 repatriated refugee families, impacting at least 1,000 people, by 2019.

Funding: This project is funded by donations from the Australian public.

In India, women face systematic discrimination and exploitation. In Kolkata our partner, Cathedral Relief Service, battles entrenched attitudes in a huge population to support at-risk women in slums. Lack of skills and jobs leads to the exploitation of men, women and children in slum communities, but women particularly have less choice.

Through CRS’ Project Ashakiran, more than 300 women in slum communities are receiving skills training in tailoring, beautician work and other livelihoods opportunities so they can provide for themselves and their families.

Funding: This project is funded by donations from the Australian public.

Working with the Afar people in northern Ethiopia, the Supporting Community FM Radio project is establishing the first ever FM radio station in the region.

The station has the full support of the Afar Pastoralist Development Association but operates as an independent entity with its own Board of Directors. The station is aiming to be fully independent by June 2018.

The Afar region has the lowest level of development in Ethiopia. The literacy level is approximately 23%, so the nomadic community is greatly benefitting from the radio station by allowing them to engage in dialogue about development.

Funding: This project is funded by donations from the Australian public.