Successful scholars contribute to the overall set of international goals of sustainable development.
Connecting Talent with Opportunities
We focus on how the provision and investment in quality education for all children in war zones contribute to the overall set of international goals of sustainable development and poverty eradication.
Education plays a vital role in fighting poverty, creating jobs, foster business development, improve health and nutrition, and promote gender equality, peace, and democracy.
The progress in education has stalled and the remaining out-of-school children are harder to reach. Many of them live in conflict-affected areas as brutally demonstrated by the constant attacks on schools in the Nuba Mountains, Darfur, and the Blue Nile where thousands of children were killed.
Marginalized families are in the lowest income bracket, they have lower rates of life expectancy, a higher incidence of health problems, including high maternal mortality rates, and they are more poorly nourished than the rest of the population. But despite all their struggles, parents in the poorest societies in the world wish to invest in their children’s education. That is their first priority when they are asked what is most important to them. We, therefore, owe them a school that responds to their expectations – and to the opportunities that come after completed education.
Education that targets marginalized and poor populations will bring change to many of the systemic factors that have contributed to the delay in poor communities’ development. Education can prevent the transmission of poverty between generations. Education also has documented effect on health, nutrition, economic development and on environmental protection (UNESCO 2104: Sustainable development begins with education).
Kody Y Kara Library Center
A structure in a medical compound in the Nuba mountains damaged by a bomb dropped on their location.
Education Empowers Communities
Our goal is to reach marginalized groups, and most communities receiving support through our partnership are fragile states. Most of our aid budget goes to education programs, many of whom focus on inclusive education.
Let me give you some examples of the link between education and health and nutrition.
Food insecurity and poor nutrition are due to poverty and unequal distribution of resources, but it is also due to insufficient knowledge of production methods and on nutritional facts. Children who have poor health or who are hungry will not come to school – or their performance will be impaired by poor health and nutrition.
Many children in developing countries and war zones face severe nutritional and cognitive deficits from the beginning of life. Estimates suggest that up to one-eighth of all children in developing countries are born malnourished and that 47 percent of children in low-income countries—continue to be malnourished before the age of five. Early malnutrition weakens children’s physical and cognitive potential and even their non-cognitive traits such as motivation and persistence.
Through basic education, marginalized people learn more about health and are better able to protect themselves and their children against diseases. The level of health among children and young people improves if their parents have had an education. This, in turn, increases their likelihood of receiving and benefiting from, an education. It is important to remember that improvements in one area, benefits several others, and we need to constantly look for the most effective synergies.
For girls, the effect of education is particularly strong. If all women in poor countries completed primary education, child mortality would drop by a sixth, saving almost one million lives each year. If they all had a secondary education, it would be cut in half, saving three million lives. Education can prevent maternal mortality by helping women recognize danger signs, seek care and make sure trained health workers are present at births.
If all women completed primary education, maternal mortality would be cut by two-thirds, saving 189,000 lives each year. “Girls’ education literally saves millions of lives” (UNESCO). Combined investments in food security, nutrition and education are necessary to reduce malnutrition and will also increase children’s ability to learn.
Educating girls is also a key factor in bringing about lower birth rates. In sub-Saharan Africa, women with no education have 6,7 births on average. The figure falls to 5,8 births for women with primary education and more than halves, to 3,9 children for women with secondary education.
As mentioned before, the lowest income countries and fragile states, are often hardest hit by the effects of natural disasters, and where food insecurity is the highest. Many of these countries are also the ones in which the population growth is the highest. This again has implications for the ability of the school system to provide quality education for all.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, the number of school-aged children that are NOT in school has more or less stabilized since 2000 even though the percentage of children in school has increased substantially. What we’re seeing here is that the gains in access to education are just barely keeping up with the population growth. Norway’s support for access to birth control, in addition to preventing deaths from dangerous, illegal abortions and teenage pregnancies, should be seen in this context.
Critical Thinking and Scholarship Opportunities
Extremely poor communities are often victimized by the effect of the global environmental crisis. Relevant education is critical for these communities to be resilient to tackle the change but also to learn how to preserve nature and its resources. Relevant education would be around alternative energy supply, recycling, agriculture, construction, and transportation.
Education can combat the underlying structures of poverty
Increased access to education can contribute to reducing poverty. Acquired basic skills such as reading, writing, and numeracy, have a documented positive effect on marginalized populations’ incomes. It increases the rate of return on the economy.
Education is critical to escape chronic poverty and to prevent the transmission of poverty between generations. Education also enables those in paid formal employment to earn higher wages: One year of education is associated with a 10% increase in wages.
It is therefore important to invest in education that provides children and youth with relevant critical, theoretical and practical skills.
While education is a catalyst for other development goals, it is also important that sectors work together. Investing in children’s health and nutrition, for example, is important in itself, but also because it will lead to a positive cycle of children being better equipped to learn in school. When children come healthy and fed to school there is a higher chance they will learn – for life. A holistic investment in early childhood is therefore crucial.
We partner with various high schools and universities in developed nations to provide opportunities for further studies and they return back upon graduation to help rebuild communities.
Our scholarships provide opportunities for entrepreneurship and business management enabling young people to develop their own businesses. Relevant technical and vocational training is important to support for this purpose. An education that promotes agricultural knowledge, innovation, and efficiency, can contribute to increased productivity in this sector.
Your support provides opportunities for vulnerable women and young people in war zones and other vulnerable victims of injustice to access clean water as well as hygiene and sanitation programs.
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