The Missing Piece of the Puzzle: Young people speak out on the need to fund global education

“I feel as young people we have made a huge impact in Parliament. We spoke to several important people, questioning and speaking to those who can make a change, so now I feel confident our goal can and will be achieved through so much of the campaigning being done by everyone all over the country.

“It has been an experience I will never forget because we have made a huge difference to help those children around the world who are unfortunately not in school.” Lucy Holloway, Campaign Champion

Yesterday was Malala Yousafzai’s birthday and Malala Day – a day that marks the speech Malala gave at the UN on her 16th birthday on the need for all children to access a quality education and to fulfil their right to learn and thrive.

Malala is an inspiration to many people around the world. She has demonstrated the power of youth speaking up for their rights and the rights of other children.

Democracy in action

Following Malala’s lead in speaking out on the right to education, 20 young Campaign Champions from across the UK went to the House of Commons on the Send My Friend to School Action Day. They met with MPs to tell them why the UK needs to fund global education to ensure that millions of children are learning from a good-quality education.

300,000 young people across the UK – from Orkney to the Isle of Wight – have taken part in the campaign since February. They have been creating paper puzzle-piece messages for their MPs, representing that financing is the missing piece of the education puzzle.

Treeve White, Campaign Champion, said, “Today was the next step in the campaign and everyone has made a difference. Today we have campaigned and convinced Parliamentarians to work towards a brighter future in education. We are one step closer to achieving our goal.”

The urgent need to finance learning

World leaders have promised every child in the world a quality education. But a key piece of the puzzle is not in place – the money to pay for this education – leaving the global picture with 263 million children missing out on learning from a quality education.

The Send My Friend to School campaign is calling for this crisis to end through increased investment in education around the world.

The opportunity – financing the Global Partnership for Education

A major test of the world’s commitment will be the next replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

GPE is scaling up its ambitions and asking donors to contribute a total of US$3.1 billion to support its work from 2018 to 2020. If this replenishment target is achieved, GPE will be able to support the education of 870 million children and youth in up to 89 developing countries that are home to approximately 78% of the world’s out-of-school children.

In our new briefing – The Missing Piece of the Puzzle: Financing a learning generation – we are calling on the UK government to pledge US$500 million (approximately £392 million) as its contribution to GPE’s replenishment. This ambitious but vital pledge would demonstrate the UK’s continued leadership and commitment to educating the world’s poorest children.

Growing momentum – at the G20 and beyond

Thanks to campaigners like the Send My Friend to School Campaign Champions, the pressure is beginning to have an impact. At the G20 last week we saw commitment from world leaders to fund education in the communiqué:

“We note the UN Secretary-General´s proposal to establish an International Finance Facility for education taking into account other existing initiatives, such as the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait, and look forward to examining it in further detail under Argentina’s Presidency with a view to making recommendations on it.”

The support for an International Finance Facility for Education and mention of GPE and Education Cannot Wait from G20 leaders gives campaigners a great platform for turning political support into concrete action and commitments in the rest of 2017 and into early 2018.

Yesterday was an amazing demonstration of the power of child-led activism and of the value of children supporting the aspiration of their peers in other countries. Save the Children is a proud member of the Send My Friend to School campaign and along with other charities, teachers unions, and children and young people across the country we will keep pushing the UK and other world leaders to deliver on their promise to children to ensure every last child is learning by 2030.
It’s not too late for your school to get involved in the campaign. Find out more. 

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