UN Photo/JC McIlwaine
Fifteen years ago an educational framework was set in Dakar, Senegal at the World Education Forum that established goals to achieve “Education for All” by 2015. Since then, the number of children who are now out of school has fallen by half, but there are still 58 million children out of school globally and around 100 million children who do not complete primary education according to the report.
Of course, it is the world’s poorest children who are largely not attending school. In fact, poor children globally are four times less likely to attend school than the world’s richest children. And since the World Education Forum in 2000, only one third of countries have achieved all of the measurable Education for All (EFA) goals.
There has been some progress since 2000, however. 184 million children were enrolled in pre-primary education worldwide, an increase of nearly two-thirds since 1999. And yet, for older children, especially those who live in sub-Saharan Africa, 20 percent of enrolled children drop out before graduating.
UNESCO just released its report, Sustainable Development: Post 2015 Begins With Education, that takes a look at the critical importance of education on the post-2015 agenda. The core stance in the report portends that without greater access to education poverty eradication will become increasingly difficult to achieve by 2030. The betterment of women’s and girls’ lives across the globe, most specifically in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia depends greatly on their equal access to quality education.
In the poorest countries, 2.9 million girls are married by 15. If girls in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia simply have a secondary education child marriage would decrease by 69%. Secondary education also causes a delay in young girls having their first child. Young girls disproportionately die in childbirth. Education will, in turn, cause a reduction in not only maternal health, but also in newborn deaths. In fact, Brazil saw a a 70 percent reduction in its fertility rate because it became a country priority to improve schools and education.
Educated girls have children later and smaller families overall. They are less likely to die during pregnancy or birth, and their offspring are more likely to survive past the age of five and go on to thrive at school and in life. Women who attended school are better equipped to protect themselves and their children from malnutrition, deadly diseases, trafficking and sexual exploitation. – Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway and Graça Machel, President, Foundation for Community Development & Founder, Graça Machel Trust.
Education, it is often said, is the key to a child’s future. When a child in low and middle-income countries goes to school, their future income increases by 10 percent. Girls who go to school have healthier children when they get married when they matriculate, and educated girls also delay marriage. Additionally, girls who are less educated are more vulnerable to violence. To compete in a growing, global economy, then, education is becoming increasingly more important to break perpetual cycles of financial and health poverty.
Pencils of Promise (PoP), the for-purpose organization founded by Adam Braun in 2008, launched its annual Back to School campaign in August that aims to send 1600 children to school in Laos, Guatemala, and Ghana. So far Pencils of Promise has raised a little under 50 percent of its overall goal. The campaign runs until October 3.
Time and again the main reason children drop out of school is because of exorbitant school fees that their parents cannot afford. And so children become endlessly trapped in a life that dictates that they grow up without the necessary tools to be more productive citizens for their country, community, and family. In short, an education means the difference between living in poverty and eventually escaping it.
Pencils of Promise knows this well. A $250 donation can send a child to school for one year. Your donation includes uniforms, backpacks, supplies, transportation, and dormitory fees.
What is Pencils of Promise
Pencils of Promise is an organization that recognizes the global impact of sending children to school and allowing them the opportunity to receive a life-saving, potentially poverty eradicating gift of an education. Starting by Adam Braun in 2008, Pencils of Promise puts 100% of all donated dollars to educating children around the world.
Braun recently wrote The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change. This book is perfect for high schoolers, college students, and even college graduates as tangible evidence that with gumption and a desire to do good anyone can change the lives of people in need; especially children who have so little that a single pencil is a true gift.
In his book Braun honestly recounts the early days of creating Pencils of Promise. It is refreshing to read that his NGO wasn’t served to him on a silver platter from people who liked his idea and created everything for him. That’s far from the truth. Through hard work and thinking outside of the box, Braun was able to turn a mere $25 investment into more than 200 schools that have now been built, employs and trains local teachers, and educates children. To be sure, Braun stumbled along the way as he created Pop and is candid about that in his book. The background he gives shows even more why any donation to Pencils of Promise has the potential to alter the trajectory of a child’s life forever and that PoP will remain honest stewards of all donated funds.
Donate to Pencils of Promise and send a child to school.