January 23, 2021 – To mark the International Day of Education, child rights organization Educo launches the #FeedTheirEducation campaign to highlight the need for greater support for children’s wellbeing through increased access to quality education, proper nutrition, and educational resources, particularly during the current surge in COVID-19 cases.
Pilar Orenes, Executive Director of Educo, says: “We strongly believe that children’s wellbeing can be nurtured greatly by ensuring children are able to continue schooling and that they are protected at all times. But in order to do so, children should have better access to nutritious food, and educational tools and resources on how they can learn more effectively and protect themselves by exercising their rights. For many children, however, this has been a struggle since the pandemic happened.”
Orenes adds: “The COVID-19 crisis has pushed more children into poverty, and therefore we need to address education challenges on all fronts and look into the various aspects of children’s needs in their schooling."
The #FeedTheirEducation campaign reflects Educo’s education efforts and holistic approach in many of the countries they work in. This includes providing school lunch programs across Spain; implementing school gardens and reintegration of disadvantaged children into schools in many countries in Africa; establishing community gardens and distributing food and hygiene kits in Latin America, like in Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, or Bolivia; night schools and anti-child child-marriage efforts in India; providing access to education and youth skills development in Bangladesh; and delivering school supplies and materials to the most disadvantaged in the Philippines, even during humanitarian crises.
In line with the International Day of Education, Educo urges governments to ensure that children from some of the most disadvantaged groups are prioritized and provided opportunities to continue their education. Orenes adds: “It is crucial that governments are committed to ensuring that the poorest families are guaranteed access to quality education and that all aspects of their children's education, whether it be nutritious food, access to tools or learning materials, and help prevent further loss of learning, dropouts, and disinterest among students.”
Educo believes that providing support to both teachers and students is also key to a better transition to the new normal. Educo’s latest global survey The Voices of 8,000 Children: The Right to Education and Participation as Explained by Children, which examined responses of children aged 6-18 years old in 12 countries across Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Spain, found that less than half (45%) of them were able to attend school physically at some point, while about a quarter have no other option but to study remotely. In addition, the study pointed out the need for greater support and investment in the training of teachers amid the new normal setup, better internet access, and digital devices and technologies
Orenes pointed: “While the current surge in COVID-19 continues to threaten children's education, it is also an opportunity for governments, donors, and communities to step up and come together to find innovative solutions for children and families who have been struggling to return to school and get back on their feet.”
For more information visit www.educo.org
For more information, contact: April Sumaylo-Tesz, Global Communications Specialist - Asia Lead for Educo: email@example.com or +639171791240
NOTES TO THE EDITOR:
Educo is a global development NGO focused on education and child protection, which works in 14 countries carrying out projects which include participation from more than 1,603,299 children and young people.
This year’s new global report by Educo, Global Survey 2021 released in November 2021: The Voices of 8,000 Children (The Right to Education and Participation post-COVID-19 explained by girls and boys of the world), is a survey in which around 8,000 children from 12 countries across Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Spain participated in, gathered by staff and partners through a combination of online surveys and telephone and face-to-face interviews.
In 2020, Educo conducted its first global survey for children, which showed that children greatly missed activities central to their general wellbeing, such as going to school, seeing their friends, etc. Their greatest concerns were linked to the potential impact of the virus on their family’s health and on their livelihood, and the uncertainty and optimism for their future.