SDG 4: Quality education
The conditions in the pastoral community of Karamoja region in North Eastern Uganda, reliant on subsistance argriculture, make it difficult to prioritize children's education without sensitizing the population to the long-term importance of school for every child. According to a 2017 survey by UNICEF, only 60 percent of young people are in school. Girls are largely looked at as a source of bride wealth while boys herd cattle for most of their lives - both responsibilities denying them an opportunity to study.
According to a survey by UNICEF in 2017, only 6 out of 10 adolescents are in school. Girls are largely considered a source of bridal wealth, while boys herd cattle for most of their lives. Born in this region myself, I have had first-hand experience of what this means for young people.
Over the years, communicating effectively on issues affecting children and youth in the Middle East has become more challenging, as the public pays less and less attention to civil society and human rights violations.
Rasha Abou Dargham, originally from Lebanon, is serving as a UN Volunteer Social Media Officer with UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Office in Amman. As a UN Volunteer, she is learning how to speak on behalf of children in a multicultural and demanding environment.
My time serving as a UN Youth Volunteer in Education for a year, between February 2017 to February 2018, was a great learning experience. Due to my proactive attitude, I participated in an array of activities that were instrumental to my contribution to the efforts of UNESCO IICBA in building a sustainable educational framework using ICT for schools in Ethiopia and other countries in the African Union.
Since 1950, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has been working to ensure recognition of the rights of five million refugees in the Near East. Among them are over half a million children who continue to receive quality education.
As an HRD-UN Volunteer, Kosumo Shiraishi was assigned to the Education Sector Planning and Management unit with UNICEF Ethiopia. During the assignment, Kosumo worked in close collaboration with several units of the Learning and Development Programme, including Early Childhood Education, Access and Equity, Education in Emergencies and Quality Education and Learning. The programme also has an explicit commitment to leverage education for peacebuilding outcomes, particularly in regions where conflict has occurred between refugees and host communities.