Posted on Monday, July 4, 2011
“A conflict could last for years and we cannot wait for it to end to give our children a better education,” said Tove Romsaas Wang, chair of ‘Save the Children - Rewrite the Future’ campaign. It was this thought that served as an inspiration for the organisation to reach out to children in conflict prone areas. I believe that all children have the right to a good education, no matter what the circumstances, shared Wang.
Talking about how Save the Children launched the Rewrite the Future campaign, Wang said, “In 2004-2005, we looked at who is out of school and who is in school and realised that in conflict areas, the proportion of children taking admission in schools was not improving. We wanted to do something positive and so the campaign was launched to get 3 million of these children into school and improve the quality of education for a total of 8 million.”
Getting people interested in helping children in conflict areas is not an easy job. Talking about some of the challenges, Wang said, “We need secure funding, which is often not available. Our work is in inhospitable conditions. Moreover, since the local governments often do not work in times of conflict, we have to build capacity in order to help local governments take charge.”
According to Wang, children are the worst affected in times of conflict. Talking about the problems, she said, Life at the time of conflict is hard. Children are deprived of food, protection, and education. Also when conflicts arise many children are separated from their parents. These children need to be shown direction in life and given support through education. Our mission is to help such children.
Talking about her experience in different parts of the world Wang said that while working in Africa and Asia, she saw what education meant to children. They are eager to learn and even parents are keen that their children be educated, shared Wang.
Despite working in tough situations, the organisation is now reaching to over 10 million children. Nearly 1.4 million children have been enrolled into school. These children would have been left out if we had not intervened, informed Wang. Talking about their future plans, Wang added, “We want to continue to work and provide quality education and reach out to as many children as we can.”
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