On school mornings, most mothers in the U.S. are scrambling around the house, nagging kids to pack their backpacks, finding missing shoes, maybe packing lunches. Almost always someone is dragging their feet and you’re running out the door to meet the bus, or walk or drive to school on time. The thought of your child not being able to get to school because of war or conflict is unfathomable.
Yet according to a recent article at TakePart.com on the vulnerability of children living in conflict zones one in four children between the ages of six and 15 living in war-torn areas are not in school. Currently, this means as many as 24 million children are missing out on their education at a critical point in their lives.
UNICEF Chief of Education Jo Bourne explains the consequences of this situation. “When children are not in school, they are at an increased danger of abuse, exploitation and recruitment into armed groups. Schools can also protect children from the trauma and physical dangers around them.”
When children attend school they gain skills to contribute to their communities, locally and on a larger scale. One study found that doubling the percentage of younger generations with secondary education could cut the risk of war in half.
Education is the key to assisting the rising generation in changing the course of history – especially when it comes to fighting against the devastation these kids are experiencing. When we prioritize access to education for every child, we will see young children grow up with the tools they need to improve their communities and countries, as they become the ones to prevent conflict.
Take Action Challenge
Read the full article from TakePart.com and the report from UNICEF. UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, taking action to reach the most vulnerable. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org, and follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook.
Lead photo is of a 9 year old child selling candies during a school day in Kafar Batna, a village outside of Damascus on January 5, 2016. Photo by UNICEF/UN06847/Al Shami