Peace building -new report

Peace is not just the absence of war -it can only be built through a range of strategies, policies and practice.

Report: Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy in Conflict-Affected Contexts Programme
UNICEF Programme Report 2012-2016

UNICEF has sought to increase risk mitigation and peacebuilding strategies in its programming. In this evolving context, the Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy in Conflict-Affected Contexts (PBEA) programme – Learning for Peace – was designed to strengthen social cohesion, resilience and human security through improved education policies and practices. The programme operated on the rationale that, when delivered equitably and effectively, education and other social services can strengthen capacities to manage conflict shocks and stresses, from the national to individual levels, and promote peace, while sustaining long-term development opportunities for children, young people and their supportive communities.

This report summarizes PBEA lessons-learned and provides an issues and evidence synopsis on how education and other social providers can address conflict factors in fragile and post-conflict contexts.

Click to read and download this resource.

Timor Leste – rising!

I have just received an email from Jorge, my translator when I started working in Timor Leste (East Timor), who then transformed himself into an excellent trainer. He writes:

I have just returned from Lequidoe sub district (Aileu),  the first place where the 100 Friendly Schools project was piloted. I found no more signs of the 1999 destruction with roofless houses and burnt out schools . I met a healthy young generation with happy faces, motivated, better educated who seem ambitious to take over development from the older people in this particular area.
They enjoy electricity in their villages, own motorbikes and trucks, new buildings, new facilities, new dresses, new and qualified teachers and much more…..
A reminder of what 1999 was like..
“Militia set fire to my house on September 1999. I evacuated to Atambua with my parents. We lived in a refugee camp in Soskoe with many other people. I went back to East Timor with my mother”.
Junito Emilio Soares, “Through the eyes of the Children”- UNICEF.
and the hope for the future:

We believe , the young people who have defended this country have the strength and ability for this very important task. With love and devotion we will succeed in rebuilding our nation from ashes and create a better future that is full of peace, freedom,democracy and justice”.

Joanita Moreira da Silva, “Through the eyes of the children”.UNICEF.

Although it has taken more than 14 years to reach this point, we are all hoping that some stability in the country will provide the economic development that can unite the different factions and maintain the progress outlined by Jorge.
Click on p.10 to get some idea of how the schools looked after the militia had stolen everything and then set fire to the schools to ensure the new nation started with nothing but their determination.
This page is from the 100 Schools Booklet ( designed by Shakun Harris and published by UNICEF) and other pages illustrate the re-building of the education system. Most teachers had left the country (they were Indonesian) and so volunteers came ‘from the rice fields into the classroom’  and were enthusuastic learners.
Our first workshops together produced a wealth of learning aids (from whatever we could find, whether it was an old flip flop to a local adhesive that is found in a tree) and enthusiastic new teachers. Jorge came into his own when he offered to run a session at a workshop and was so well prepared and capable that there was no doubting his future as a trainer.
You can see Jorge at the bottom of page 14
Timor Leste continues to rise……

Girls’ education

During the last few years I have been working on aspects of Girls’ education in Zambia and Tanzania. We know the importance of a focus of attention on girls education for the future of any country so as to overcome discrimination and to enhance  human potential of the whole nation.

Why a focus on girls?

Two-thirds of the world’s uneducated children are girls, and two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women. Around the world, girls and women continue to suffer from a lack of economic opportunity, inadequate health care and education, early marriage, sexual violence, and discrimination.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that educating women and girls is the single most effective strategy to ensure the well-being and health of children, and the long-term success of developing economies.

There are many benefits associated with girls’ education, such as:

Reduction of child and maternal mortality

Improvement of child nutrition and health

Lower birth rates

Enhancement of women’s domestic role and their political participation.

In education, a focus on the quality of education of girls ensures an improvement in the quality of education for all students.

Some new posts from the INEE newsletter:

Community-Supported Models for Girls’ Education in Diverse Contexts in Pakistan

Brookings.

Paper
This paper presents the case for promoting girls’ education in the challenging contexts of remoteness, social conservatism, fragility, and severe financial hardship by providing localized services delivered through community-supported initiatives, contextualized approaches, and flexible strategies. This argument draws from the latest literature on community-supported education, barriers to girls’ education, and the role of nongovernmental actors, as well as the author’s research on three community-supported schooling models in three different contexts in Pakistan: 1) in a state of fragility; 2) in a socially conservative area experiencing social resistance to girls’ education; and 3) in an urban slum area.

 

WASH in Schools for Girls E-Course 
UNICEF, UNGEI, Emory University, Govt. Of Canada

Publication 
The WinS4Girls E-Course was developed and delivered as part of the project ‘WASH in Schools for Girls: Advocacy and Capacity Building for MHM through WASH in Schools Programmes’ (WinS4Girls Project), which is being funded by the Government of Canada. In recognition of the positive impact on girls’ education, initiatives around the world are addressing adolescent girls’ menstrual hygiene management (MHM) needs in coordination with ongoing efforts to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities and services in schools. By offering an alternative to the stigma and marginalization often associated with menstruation, integrating MHM into WASH in Schools (WinS) empowers all students, especially girls.

Click here to download the publication.

School Readiness – a formula for equity?

After a slow start early childhood education is now picking up a pace, with more governments increasing their pre-school provision, through a mixture of state and private investment.

What is only recently being recognised is that there are still many children not being able to access pre-school provision through living too far from the school, living in poverty, being a girl whose domestic responsibilities prevent her from starting school at the correct age, and those who are not ready to start primary school because their mother tongue is not the language of instruction.

At primary level if the language of the learner is different from the teacher they are less likely to succeed and more likely to fall behind -the teacher may not be trained to work bilingually and may not have the patience or resources to differentiate their teaching for their diverse class.

What is also certain, those children living in disadvantaged families, including those living in poverty, will not receive the cognitive stimulation at home which will support their brain development. Once these children start some distance behind other children they are likely to fall behind their peers, may have to repeat grades and eventually drop out or be too old to continue due to the pressure of early marriage,for example, in the case of girls.

If we are to improve equity -what can we do to ensure that all children start formal schooling ready to learn in a context which can be rather intimidating to many young learners?

The formula has to be RC+RF+RS=RC , where R=Ready, C=Community,F=Family, S=School and C= children.

This approach is having benefits in Tanzania where the GoT/EQUIP-Tanzania initiative on School Readiness is being piloted.

dodomapuppets

Community Teaching Assistants presenting their teaching aids made from local materials

 

More news on this initiative coming quite soon.

 

 

 

Hear It From the Children

Any opportunity to hear children speak about their situation and how it could be improved, is worth listening to…..

Hear It From the Children
Save the Children INTERSOS, World Vision International and CARE

Report
‘Hear It From The Children’ provides a fascinating insight into what children from communities that have been most affected by the South Sudan conflict consider to be their top priorities. A clear message has emerged from the children, and it is that, “…we want to learn – even during war.” It is a simple but powerful message that challenges us all to re-think how we can best respond to children’s needs in times of conflict.

Click here to download the report.
and another opportunity to be aware of young people’s concerns and ‘solutions’…
PODCAST #100 – Brightest Hope
UNICEF

Podcast – International Peace Day: Education provides hope for young people in time of crisis

While conflicts rage, and global crises seem to multiply, one thing remains unchanged – children continue to seek an education.

To highlight the bravery of these inspiring young people, the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) and UN Global Education First Initiative held an essay competition on education in crisis, receiving more than 700 submissions from around the world. Twelve of these essays were recently published in a booklet entitled: The Brightest Hope.

In the lead up to the International Day of Peace (21 September), UNICEF podcast moderator Mia Lobel spoke with two students and young essayists: Ivy Kimtai, 21, from the Mount Elgon region of Kenya and Jephthah Temona, 19, from Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Assistive Products for Children with Disabilities Forum

Assistive Products for Children with Disabilities Forum
UNICEF

On 6-7 July 2015, in Copenhagen, UNICEF hosted its first-ever global meeting of staff, stakeholders and manufacturers to raise awareness, inspire and exchange knowledge on AT products that can bridge equity gaps for children with disabilities. Leading disability organizations and suppliers headlined the two-day gathering.

UNICEF is pleased to share information, presentations and publications related to the APCD forum. Please click on the links on the APCD webpage to access all of the resources, and do not hesitate to contact jhowe@unicef.org if more information is needed.

Education and Conflict -some stories

We hear about the effects of conflict on education when ‘news worthy’ items catch our attention – the taking of more than 200 girls in Northern Nigeria and the shooting of Malala in Pakistan, for example. They do wake us up , but are then too quickly forgotten. So it is important to consider not only the impact of conflict but the possibilities for reducing the impact.

Items provided by INEE newsletter

Consider the wider effects of Boko Haram in the countries surrounding Nigeria, for example:

The Impact of Boko Haram and Armed Conflict on Schooling in Cameroon’s Far North
UNICEF
In December 2014, UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Basic Education(MINEDUB), carried out a rapid assessment in the 4 departments most affected by the insurgency of Boko Haram in the region of the Far North. The assessmentThe Impact of Boko Haram and Armed Conflict on Schooling in Cameroon’s Far North aims to provide education sector actors and stakeholders with accurate, reliable data on the impact of Boko Haram and the armed conflict on schooling and internal displacement, facilitating a more informed, coordinated sectoral response.

Download the full Impact of Boko Haram and Armed Conflict on Schooling in Cameroon’s Far North report.

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and news about providing safe spaces for children:
Video: Caught in the Crossfire: Providing Education during Conflict Videos
INEE and The American Red Cross

On March 5th, the American Red Cross and INEE hosted an expert

presentation and panel on ensuring the existence of a safe space for education during conflict. The event clarified how compliance with International Humanitarian Law (IHL) enables a safe space for education during conflict, as well as presents on what education can do to provide stability to a community disrupted by conflict.

now available.

Access the full conference video, here.
Access the extended interview with INEE Director, Dean Brooks, here.