“The alliance with Education Cannot Wait will allow ProFuturo to expand the scope of its work and adapt its innovative education programme to handle the needs of children in conflict and crisis zones”, points out the Managing Director of ProFuturo, Sofía Fernández de Mesa. “No child should be deprived of a quality education, regardless of the situation they are in. Education is their window to a better future”, she added.
Both organizations undertake to cooperate in those countries where intervention could benefit refugee children and internally displaced persons, working in alliance with ministries of education and other international and national organizations to guarantee the effectiveness and sustainability of the ProFuturo programme.
ProFuturo is participating on defining the Multi-Year Resilience Programme (MYRP) that Education Cannot Wait is developing in Ethiopia in cooperation with UNICEF, ACNUR, Save the Children, Plan International, other international organizations and donors and national civil society. The three-year programme tackles the needs of unschooled refugee children and of those who have been deprived of education due to the internal displacement of populations because of security problems or the consequences of climate change. ProFuturo is integrating the digital education component into the programme to complement more traditional learning approaches.
“A pioneering alliance”
Education Cannot Wait has qualified the alliance between both institutions as “pioneering”. “For boys and girls in crisis situations, such as refugees and internally displaced persons, technology can be a powerful facilitator of learning”, notes its director, Yasmine Sherif. “Be working together, we are taking advantage of the strengths and experience of each organization to achieve results that have a greater impact for children and youths”, she concluded.
According to the United Nations, 70 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes. More than half, nearly 25.4 million, are under the age of 18 years. In over 90% of the cases, these forced movements of persons occur in developing countries, whose education systems do not have the capacity to incorporate refugee children and youths who should be in school.
Another figure provided by the United Nations regarding refugee children is related to school attendance: approximately four million don’t attend school, and refugee girls are less likely to be in school than boys. Therefore, throughout 2019 and 2020, ProFuturo plans on taking this model of education intervention to the refugee contexts of Malawi, Jordan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Colombia.