“Education is an empowering right and one of the most powerful tools by which economically and socially marginalized children and adults can lift themselves out of poverty and participate fully in society.”
Our programs throughout Africa, South Asia and Latin America are based on a holistic approach that empowers women and men living in rural villages to become agents of their own development and make sustainable progress in overcoming hunger and poverty. Central to this approach is harnessing the power of education. UNESCO research has shown the dramatic impact that secondary education for all adults could have on global poverty rates. The Sustainable Development Goal 4 on quality education is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda and is essential for the effort to end hunger and promote self-reliance. The goal seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
We have the primary responsibility to ensure the achievement of SDG 4. Quality education includes the promotion of smart, innovative measures to reach younger students. It also includes relevant education and training that can help address common social, environmental and economic challenges across the world.
Especially important is the need to ensure that girls and women have access to equal educational opportunities as boys and men. When a girl has the opportunity to be educated and healthy, she thrives and whole societies benefit. Educated girls marry later, have healthier children and take an active role in their communities to ensure the rights of other women are upheld. Yet, girls who are out of school to begin with rarely enter education when compared to their out-of-school male peers. This fact is especially important because the majority of maternal deaths could be prevented with her primary education.
Education is fundamental to achieving our vision of a world where every woman, man and child leads a healthy and fulfilling life of self-reliance and dignity, which is why it is at the heart of all our work. It takes a truly holistic approach to end hunger and poverty. And when this includes access to education, everyone thrives.
- An estimated 250 million children under 5 in low- and middle-income countries are at risk of underdevelopment (The Lancet, 2016), which has long-term implications for learning outcomes for children.
- Due to COVID-19, it’s estimated that over 2 trillion hours were lost from missed in-person schooling (UNICEF, 2022).
- Nearly 1 in 3 adolescent girls from low-income households globally have never set foot in a classroom (UNICEF, 2020).
- Children in fragile, conflict-affected countries are more than twice as likely to be out of school compared to those in countries not affected by conflict (UNESDOC, 2015).
- In low-income countries, around 40% of children with disabilities are out of school at primary level and 55% at secondary level (UNICEF, 2016).
- Despite rapid progress in the past two decades in early childhood education, the pre-primary enrollment rate is 61.5% (UNESCO, 2021).
- More than 617 million (or six out of ten) children of the primary and the secondary school age do not have minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics (UIS, 2018).
What We Do
- Promote equal education for girls. Our animators across Asia, Africa and Latin America run educational campaigns to promote childhood primary school enrollment, especially for girl children. In Bangladesh, for example, we continue to implement the “Safe Schools for Girls” campaign to increase girls’ attendance in school, reduce dropouts, improve the quality of education available to girls and promote additional opportunities for girls in and out of school.
- Implement preschool and school feeding programs. Our epicenters in Africa operate preschool programs that include the provision of one nutritious meal per day. It works to ensure a nutritious meal for the children and promote healthy growth and encourages parents to bring their children to preschool.
- Support Youth Ending Hunger Education campaigns. In Bangladesh, we plan monthly activities in their communities with an emphasis on literacy and education, such as environmental education awareness campaigns, debates, math Olympiads, writing competitions, roundtables and blood donation camps.
- Create functional adult educational programs. Our Adult Literacy programs educate adult community partners and share with the literacy and numeracy skills necessary to grow their businesses.
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The Hunger Project
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