Why is Education for Refugees Important?
It is vital for us to remember that whilst thousands of children have been born in these refugee camps there are also many children who arrived to the camps having already had some form of education before being displaced. To be stripped of their rights by persecuting home nations and then finding themselves living in a refugee camps, waking up every single day and to not have a routine, opportunity and some sense of normality that school may have previously provided - is difficult and adds to their existing trauma. Children rely on daily learning and interaction with others. It provides a safe space and mental and social nourishment. Every child is deserving of that.
Another thing we must remember is that refugee children and adolescents are people with hopes, dreams and aspirations like us. The only difference is that we've the privilege to be able to materialise our ambitions. We do not awaken, empower nor enlighten these children when we provide education. By helping to ensure they have access to quality education we are simply fulfilling our moral and humanitarian obligation. These children have a right to the quality education they have been denied of. As humanitarian actors/civil society, we help to facilitate a space for them to be able to one day materialise their hopes, just like we are able to.
Education is a basic human right: enshrined in the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 1951 Refugee Convention.
Education protects: Refugee children and youth from forced recruitment into armed groups, child labour, sexual exploitation and child marriage.
Education empowers: Refugees, just like you and I, also crave the same freedoms and ability to live fulfilling and independent lives. Education enables and encourages this.
Education enlightens: Refugee children often strive to rebuild their communities as well as their own lives, education equips them to be able to do so.
- It is 5x more likely that refugee children and youth around the world will be without school.
- Just 61% of refugee children attend primary school compared to 92% of non-refugee children, globally.
- Only 23% of refugee adolescents attend secondary school compared to 84% globally, while only 1% make it to university.
There are more displaced people today than at any other point in the history of the world. Most have been displaced due to persecution, conflict, environmental disasters, and economic strain.
Over half of all recorded refugees are children who have been deprived of their rights, homes, statehood, and sometimes even loved ones. They are seeking solace and some resemblance of comfort in refugee camps and unplanned settlements.
Education is key in their healing. Their right to education cannot continue to be violated. This day should be a reminder to us that there is so much left to do.
We set up our Rohingya Learning Centres to facilitate a space for Rohingya children to help provide a routine, some sense of normality and encourage the children to slowly heal from the trauma they carry having experienced unimaginable violence. Having a safe space to talk, learn, build and play is the first step to healing. Set up a small monthly donation which can make a huge positive difference to one of the world's most marginalised communities