Listen: NGO brings visibility to millions of children out of school worldwide
"This is Matt Wells at UN news an estimated two hundred sixty million children not receiving an education and the crisis hampering their access to vital life skills and the jobs market leaders at the nonprofit their world have committed to closing the education gap the organizations bringing visibility to the scale of the global education crisis through through an immersive installation the infant classroom a mirrored room which highlights the huge number of unfilled seats in schools across the world sites it on the main. UN Plaza in New New York the installation serves as the centerpiece of their world's latest campaign Hashtag right the wrong aiming to gain the financial support and political momentum to help children achieve she therefore potential and Gio Partners Founder Sarah Brown and President Justin Vanfleet spoke to you and uses Nutley Hutchison onstage in the G. Media his own during the German assemblies high level week well so we set up the infinity room right outside the main doors to the headquarters because we wanted to capture people going past and just make sure that education was front and center this has been a UN week where how we protect our planet has been the start to the week and and now we're moving across to talk about people on that planet and truthfully. We're not going to find a way to save upon it. If we don't find a way to educate all our children to who need to know what they need need to do to play their part so the infinity rumors you walk into it is a mirrored space that when you sit at the the children the school desks there the mirrors create literally millions of empty desks representing the two hundred and sixty million childrens. You say who don't get the chance chance to go to school and there's some sound as well right. Do you want to tell people a little bit about this. Once you walk in there you can close the door. You can create your own photographs. Create your own film mm-hmm and the space will will do all the work for you but also you can hear the sound of a classroom and hear what the sound would be if we had all those children at school learning unexcited and planning futures to justify anything to add just building on that is what happens if we don't do anything about that today in right now and that's why we thought it was so important even when climate and other issues are front and center that I see even here at the boxes for educations at the bottom because it's the foundation that really helps achieve all those. SDG's and by having the box here front and center it reminds people have not just tuned sixty million out of school today but if we don't change change course immediately in two thousand thirty actually over eight hundred million over half of the world's young people won't have the skills that they'll need tend to the workforce we productive members of society so as a wakeup wakeup call to what's actually going to be happening in twenty thirty if we don't take action great so what is what is the global education crisis exactly and how do you bring visibility into this with all these other. SDG's that are competing this week especially so the crisis is simply that you have millions of children out of school but the crisis is also what that means for them as they grow up and as Justin said you face a future where within a very short period of time half of the world's young people will not have the skills to be ready to be able to enter employment or run their own business or engage in a job that Romo might be doing an unskilled job but there's going to be plenty of scope for people with skill jobs but they have to have that learning and we're creating a bigger and bigger gap as we have children who are able to go through the secondary school and onto higher education and leaving so many millions behind and the challenges also not just for those children who are in the poorest hardest to reach parts of the world world but also this children who are displaced and we have so many more children to address in a humanitarian context where as a refugee as asylum-seeker as as a child whose family can can move several times as they move. We have to be able to be flexible and provide opportunities for them so the comp the competition with the other goals is not a competition you know. I was talking to me Muhammad this morning and she said something very wise. She's she loves the progress of any single goal all from her point of view responsible for seventeen any progress on any single goal has a positive impact on others and education arguably has the greatest impact on how we cheese every right youth is certainly at the center of the conversation these days right yes absolutely Sarah. Would you share a about the founding of the organization. What sort of inspired fired you to pursue education at this level so I didn't set out to set up a charity that was focused on the global education crisis. When we first started the charity seventeen eighteen years ago it had a different name it was focused on community health and education projects and looking at the grassroots level but what's happened. Is We've grown. We've partnered with other initiatives. Initiatives been inclusive with the way that we work working with Justin. In a leadership role. There brings a lot of skills and expertise with his team where actually you are able to work right of that top. top-down level of looking at how we unlock the political will unlock the financing on adopt commitments to education that we scroll back ten fifteen years just weren't there and the journey to making education the priority was one where whatever health project we were doing something around nutrition or something environmental you can never reach your full goal when you'd dealing with children who don't get that chance to go to school and it was just something where myself and the other like-minded people realize that if we collaborated together we creative partnerships together as an organization we could do that and that's where their world was born but there will doesn't work on its own either you know we've got partnerships with other. NGOs always with UNICEF here with the meeting with them this morning and getting a lot of new commitments for education sharing our resources and I think all of us have to do that so their world is is there to collaborate and work with others because we need government civil society. We need businesses if together going to reach these goals great that's that's what I was going to ask him aside from the infinity classroom sort of what other involvement you had with the UN Jay this week in maybe more details about those partnerships so we here we have the Business Coalition for education that we established. It's been building private sector engagement with education so they've been hosting a big event. We've campaigned for many years at their world to be able to see the creation of the new financing facility big pledging today and education wait. That's within the unison family is they're. They're scooping up massive commitment this week for education emergency so we're having busy days every day of course and you both. I believe leave returned from a trip to Greece recently right where Russia around degrees yeah. Could you share by breaking. You told us it was it was it was one of those his trips where you realize the sheer scale the challenge in both of the global level but also what it means individuals where we were there on days we had record numbers. There's of young people arriving on boats from Turkey and these refugee reception centres that were already overcrowded three or four five times the capacity no supplies even for for a place to ten nothing and they're just waiting outside and you had all of these young people and most of them young people in these camps and we were able to do is as we partnered with education not wait and the players the Dutch postcode lottery and we said we have to do something we have to right the wrongs such an injustice of what was happening there and so collectively we invested into programs with UN agencies with UNICEF and unique CR and we're delivering five thousand school places right now because those young children we went. We saw that young people were able to take out of those camps go down the road of these centers and their eyes light up. They're taking out of these places and hope and opportunity everything's right in front of them and then you know the end of the day they you have to go back and so we have to solve that crisis of the refugees being there in those conditions but also this transit center they need some type of hope and opportunity so we're not making in a plan to double the capacity immediately when over eighty percent of them service in the next few months so they all have chance of education while there and so that's that's our big our big challenge ahead wonderful where where else has their world gone and made impacts so far what we've worked a lot with refugees because we campaigned very heavily to be able to get funding through the humanitarian sector. It's not that many is that change come about so we've had a lot of work with Syrian refugees. I'm British and so for for us to see in Europe refugees coming in was a big wakeup call in two thousand fifteen to sixteen to realize how close that that came to us coming in into the Greek islands but also something where we have a responsibility these people now our neighbors and to be able to engage. We've worked a lot so one of our biggest initiatives so it was the big breakthrough was making a proposal for the double shift school system and the WF school system is very simple solution to massive influx of people needing education and a the population like Lebanon or Turkey Jordan overwhelmed by how to cater to that need generously being prepared to do so and so if the school can start earlier in the day day you gotta first shift of children coming through and then halfway through move overtook double. The number of children can come through a school building in one day which means you don't have to to spend time working out where you're going to build buildings. You can get on with working how your teachers are going to be trained to cope different language instruction making sure there's children have the opportunity and and that's worked amazing. I mean just speak to the numbers more accurately than I did but we have hundreds of thousands if not millions of children who are now in school as a result of that system that's wonderful. That's not sit and I think that's the point is we're not an organization just to run programs on the ground because there are a lot of great partners that do that already and what we're really trying to do is find out where the blockage is where the gaps who's missing out. How do we provide immediate support but then also how do we create that change and unlock the bigger amounts of funding the bigger partnerships need to happen to really deliver sliver at scale exactly what you're saying. Lebanon with this proposal partnered with the government agencies and over three hundred thousand young people went back to school last year. There were refugees in Lebanon. That otherwise wouldn't have had that opportunity before we all work together on this. It was about ten thousand immediate impact that you can have if everybody works together really put her mind to these new innovative ways of doing work. That's that's wonderful. I'm staying on the good news. You mentioned there. Were new pledges that came out this morning. Justin I I was following some of your tweets there was incredible progress that came out of the UN today. Can you share a bit about who those donors were and and what we saw the first CIANCI veterans education cannot wait so looking for funding that needs to be ready to move very very quickly whether it's an unfolding emergencies so there was a number of countries that came to the fore so we saw Norway Way Denmark who was that Germany Germany the United States made a commitment made a big commitment so all all of those commitments are there and ready and then reaching out more widely and I know that education will now look towards the expo twenty twenty coming up and talking to Dubai you buy cars and other organizations in the region about how to galvanize more countries to be able to come in on board we had even more because after the education cannot wait event we had the International Finance Facility for education which is a new proposal. We've had out there and now there's actually money coming into this thing so it's real it's real we had youth campaigners the past last two years campaigning with their world and other organizations to get this thing up and now now it's there today there were six hundred million dollars in pledges into that and because of the way it's sort but actually multiplies the money through through the Multilateral Development Banks Action Equates about two point one billion dollars. We'll be able to invest in the next generation of young people and you combine that that with the amount from education cannot wait. We're looking at two point three two point four billion dollars that was raised just today just across the street for education and that's a big deal. That's probably the most that's been raised origination and he's single day in history. I think that good news. You're going to be the place where we stop today. Thank you so much seren Justin for joining US everyone. Thank you so much for for your attendance. Thank you great"