On January 24 of every year, the world comes together to celebrate the importance of education and to recognize that many children lack the privilege of gaining an education. This year specifically, the United Nations announced that the celebration of the International Day of Education will focus on Afghan women and girls, who are no longer permitted to get an education due to the ongoing civil war (UN, 2023).
This year marks the midpoint of the UN’s adoption of the 2030 Agenda, which focuses on the wellbeing of people, planet and prosperity. The Agenda has 17 connected and interwoven goals that will be reviewed at a Sustainable Development Goals Summit this September with the theme of investing in people (UN, 2023).
“Let’s deliver education systems that can support equal societies, dynamic economies and the limitless dreams of every learner in the world” said UN Secretary- General António Guterres when talking about investing in education.
In September 2022, the UN convened the Transforming Education Summit, which has helped build global momentum to maintain strong, interconnected political mobilization towards improving the quality and access of education as well as paving a path towards translating these commitments to actual initiatives that will improve the state of education globally (UN, 2023).
The UN states that education is a human right and is both a public good and public responsibility. The right of education can be found in article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which calls for free and compulsory elementary education. Later, in 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child announced that countries must make higher education accessible to all (UN, 2023).
In 2017, World Forgotten Children Foundation (WFCF) partnered with Under The Same Sun (UTSS) to provide $3,301 to purchase textbooks and reading stands for 70 students with albinism in Tanzania. Children with albinism often suffer a number of health risks due to their genetic condition, with visual impairment being one of those health risks that result in increasing stigma and discrimination.
By cooperating with UTSS, who have rescued hundreds of displaced children, WFCF was able to provide reading stands and books that are needed to assist children with albinism and visual impairment issues.
WFCF provided adjustable wooden reading stands that allow students to lean papers and textbooks in various angles to help improve their sight. For students that are visually impaired and have low vision, this allows them to see their work closely. These stands will help the children who have for long reported headaches and back and neck pain from straining to focus on their school work.
Along with the reading stands, WFCF were able to provide 37 orphaned students with low vision the textbooks they needed to study for their national exams that year. Prior to this funding, the students had to share their books with other students, which when coupled with visual impairment, made it extremely challenging to study.
This project’s specific mission, to enable orphaned students with albinism in Tanzania, will provide long-lasting effects on the lives of many children. Visual impairment is but one of the obstacles these children face, and by working with the UTSS Education Program, WFCF has given the gift of knowledge to 70 students. Their hard work for an education will pay off, and using reading stands and new textbooks, they can strive to get the best grades possible!
We hope you consider donating to WFCF and supporting our mission today and make a difference in the lives of many orphaned children with disabilities.
UN. (2023). International Day of Education. United Nations. https://www.un.org/en/observances/education-day