SEATTLE — Education plays a critical role in ending global poverty. It would cost $54 billion to provide every child in poverty with a basic education. That rate pales in comparison to the United States’ estimated 2017 budget of $3.65 trillion. However, organizations improving global education remain a stable part of the world’s dedication to advocacy on behalf of those living in extreme poverty.
One such organization is the Global Education Fund (GEF), a group dedicated to partnering with educators to find innovative ways to improve education for children living in poverty. Founded in 1998, the organization reaches 93 schools across Kenya, India and Guatemala. Providing nations with a minimum of three years of support, GEF helps design curriculums, diversify funding approaches and improve graduation rates. In 2016, GEF invested nearly $200,000 to reach more than 2,500 students, most of whom were girls.
Children International is another organization working to improve global education. Although the group does not solely focus on education, it does invest in helping children in impoverished countries complete secondary school. Its education programs seek to ensure inclusive and equitable learning opportunities for all, a crucial component of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.
The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) prides itself on working across 33 African nations to empower girls and women through education. Founded in 1992 by five African female ministers of education, FAWE supports its members and their institutions by strengthening their capacity for influencing policy. Though less than 20 percent of students in Africa study scientific subjects in university, FAWE provides pedagogical models to reimagine and reshape educational opportunities such that women can come to the fore of STEM subjects. Ultimately, its work seeks to establish gender equality in Africa.
Finally — though many other organizations improving global education exist — Save the Children works to provide every child with the chance to live a healthy lifestyle, receive an education and live in safety. In 2016, it reached 13 million children through educational programs. By implementing a specific pedagogical approach, it manages to train teachers to engage their students more effectively, coach parents and caregivers to help their children learn, introduce students to all forms of art to help them express themselves and ensure that they do not stop receiving an education during times of crisis.
Ultimately, these organizations improving global education work diligently to ensure that students receive the education they deserve. Hopefully, as funding for organizations such as these increases, they will be able to reach the $54 billion necessary to educate all of the world’s children and, by extension, begin the work of crafting an equitable global community.
– Emily Chazen