Education is a basic human right. We all know that education is typically associated with higher incomes and higher standards of living, regardless of where you are in the world. What most people do not understand, is that education, or lack thereof, can have life or death consequences in less developed countries. Statistics tell us that a child whose mother can read is 50% more likely to live past the age of 5. While this may be shocking, the value of education, especially in developing countries, cannot be understated.
An estimated 53% of children in low and middle-income countries cannot read proficiently by the age of 10. This means that six out of every ten children in these countries, may not have achieved minimum reading or math proficiency levels by the time they reach the age of 12. In crisis situations specifically, there are an estimated 128 million children under the age of 12 who are out of school entirely due to local disruptions to their education system. Girls are impacted at a higher rate as they are 1.5 times more likely to be excluded from attending primary school. During a crisis, they are 2.5 times more likely to not be receiving education when compared to boys.
The effects on the world as a whole due to lack of education are powerful. The World Bank reports that every year of education received by a child reduces their risk of conflict by about 20%. These children are less likely to be involved in local disruptive behavior that may derail their future. The children also report a sense of purpose and belonging when they are able to receive an education that is otherwise missing. This effect can be seen on macro levels as a 10% increase in secondary schooling rates over the average was found to reduce the risk of war between countries by over 3%.
Understanding the impacts of a lack of education is the first step. HHRD’s Education Support Program is dedicated to providing the benefits of education to those in crisis situations across the world. The Education Support Program currently serves refugees and orphans who have fled crises situations in their home countries. By working with local communities and determining what amount and types of support are needed, HHRD is able to get the teachers, supplies, and organization, on the ground effectively.
A child participating in HHRD’s education programs will have a safe place to go during the day. They will also be provided with supplies that will make learning possible. For some of the children, school is the only place they receive food, water, health care, and hygiene supplies. HHRD knows that these basic life necessities are critical to being able to learn in the first place, and works hard to deliver these supplies so that formal education is possible. The parents and children of affected areas consistently cite education as a top priority and understand the value and opportunity a base level education can provide. For some, it is their only hope at a better life and a chance at a future worth looking forward to.
HHRD reports that only 2.6% of the world’s humanitarian budget is spent on education. Furthermore, less than 20% of this aid goes to low-income communities or those affected by crises. These numbers are severely insufficient to provide the assistance needed to get every child into the classroom, and out of troubling or dangerous situations.
If you’d like to donate or learn more about HHRD’s Education Support Program and its efforts in developing countries, visit their website. With your help, HHRD can make the world a better place through education and opportunity for all.