Education offers children a way to break the cycle of poverty and hope for the future.

For some children, the only thing standing in the way of going to school is a backpack full of supplies and a mandatory uniform. We fund programs that provide quality education, books and materials to both children in need and children who do not have access to or the opportunity to attend school.

Why School is Important

According to UNICEF USA, there are 264 million children and adolescents around the world who do not have the opportunity to enter or complete school. Inhibited by emergencies, natural disasters, war, poverty and discrimination, a child's access to education becomes a luxury, not a necessity.

Providing children with basic education offers them the opportunity become empowered adults with confidence and courage to support their family and community, ultimately breaking the cycle of poverty and finding themselves on a path to a promising future.

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Education Statistics

The following statistics were compiled by UNICEF USA:

▪ Approximately half of children with disabilities living in developing countries are not in school.
▪ Globally, 51% of preschool age children are not enrolled in early childhood education
▪ Only 50% of refugee children worldwide are in school.
▪ Only 1 in 10 young people in low-income countries are estimated to be on track to gain the secondary-level skills necessary for success in the global economy.
▪ An estimated 250 million or 38% of primary school age children have not mastered basic literacy and numeracy.

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Challenges Facing Children

Children in poor countries face many barriers to accessing an education. Global Citizen compiled a list of the biggest challenges:

▪ A lack of funding and learning materials
▪ No classrooms and no available teachers
▪ Living in a country in conflict or at risk of conflict
▪ The exclusion of children with disabilities
▪ Being the 'wrong' gender
▪ Distance from home to school
▪ The expense of education

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Girl's Education

An educated girl is more likely to grow up to lead a healthy and empowered life. She will feel safe to decide when she is ready for marriage and children—instead of facing violence or trafficking—and she will likely send her children to school, breaking a cycle of continued poverty.

But 15 million primary school-age girls are unlikely to ever have the opportunity to learn to read and write. Girls all around the world face discrimination simply because of their gender. A daughter's education is not valued as high as a son's education and they are often forced to work in the family home to help take care of siblings or find work.

The programs we fund focus on ensuring gender equality, knowing that an education can change her life.

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For more than a decade, Sovann and his family lived in a remote jungle in Cambodia to escape years of guerrilla warfare. His parents were uneducated and suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder. They struggled to manage a stable home.

Sovann dreamed of going to school, and the first year his parents would allow it, he went to open enrollment at Romcheck Primary School and signed up for first grade, even though he was three years older than his classmates. For Sovann, the only thing standing in his way of receiving an education were a bundle of school supplies and a uniform. World of Children and the Ponheary Ly Foundation helped to provide both.

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Data and statistics have been compiled from:
Global Citizen

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