12 December Dec 2012 1716 12 December 2012

AVSI at the Global Education Cluster Meeting, Istanbul, 23-25 October 2012

Education is an essential right of every child and adult, as recognized in several international statements, and  a cross cutting topic: healthcare, sustainable development, employment are all deeply connected with education.  A more holistic approach is crucial to face this matter in its breadth. Given the importance and complexity of the challenges in the educational field, partnerships among all sectors of society, including public-private partnerships, are needed to enhance education service deliverythanks to the union of different sets of knowledge, skills and resources.
In this view, we wish to share with you some recent experiences from all around the world.
Global Education Cluster Meeting, Istambul, 23-25 October 2012. About 60 NGOs reprentatives from different countries attended the meeting  and, for the first time, also representatives from Education Ministries have been invited (Mali, Pakistan, Philippines, Zimbabwe).  The aims of the meeting were:  provide a sharing platform on priority themes highlighting best practices and identify solutions;  give information on the last developments  at global level such as the “Transformative Agenda” and its implications for the Education Cluster;  provide mechanisms to support the Global Education Cluster, regional stakeholders and members of the  Education Cluster Working Group in order to guide and support the actors in the field.
AVSI has been participating in the Education Cluster in RD Congo since 2007,  when it was set up in Goma, North Kivu, andis now Co-lead to UNICEF in the Province of South Kivu.
Ms. Alessia Donigaglia, AVSI Education and Child Protection Specialist, participated in the last meeting in Istambul and presented avideo on the activities implemented by AVSI in partnership with UNICEF  in the refugee camp Mugunga 3, in Goma suburbs, highlighting the integrated approach education/child protection and the close link of these two sectors in emergency situations.
Albania recognizes SHIS’s work for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child. The Albanian NGO SHIS, AVSI partner, has been included as NGOs representative in the Steering Committee  for the coordination among Local Authorities responsible for children at risk in the Region of Valona. SHIS intervention in the country is crucial for children’s care and health  as the health system in all regions of Albania, including Valona, cannot fully meet the needs of public health. SHIS is also committed to the protection of the right to education as the  government schools infrastructure doesn’t correspond to the minimum standards for quality education yet. SHIS’ interventions for the right to social assistance (professional insertion, vocational training, economic support) are also very important to cover the gap due to the lack of programs for families with limited possibilities or social problems. Among the several projects implemented by SHIS for the protection of the rights of the child, the Distance Support Program allows almost 1.000 young students (4-17 years) to attend school, have school books and, above all, an adult as a master.
In the Republic of Congo, AVSI is involved in the Hinda Project with the company Eni, which aims to improve quality education through the renovation of schools, teacher training and the involvement of student families.  The project was kicked off on November 15th with a school in Tchtondi, which is one of the oldest in the country and is expected to hold up to 700 students while it currently takes less than 400 in overcrowded classrooms. Moreover, the school is lacking a dining hall facility, so students have to go home to have lunch,  often covering long distances. Some of them, living too far from school, don’t eat anything all day or, once they are at home, don’t came back for the afternoon lessons. The school is located in the village of Tchitondi , in the District of Hinda, with a population of about 3.480 people.
This project, through the renovation of schools, focuses on the protection of the right to education in a country with extremely low literacy rates. The creation of the school dining hall refectory can help to increase attendance and reduce the number of drop-out students and fight the serious problem of malnutrition. Finally, teacher training allow teachers to find out how to create a relationship with children and promote the development of each one of them.In the schools of Tchibanda (700 children), Mboubissi (350) and Mongo Tandou (120) several activities (theatre, recreation, etc.) are organized for all people of the village: youth, adults, parents, elders under the slogan “Everybody at school”.
In Nairobi, Kenya, Ms. Paola Imperiale, Ambassador of Italy in Nairobi, participated in ceremony for the laying of the foundation stone of the multifunctional meeting room that will be built by AVSI within a project funded by the Italian Cooperation, private donors and foundations. The new facility will be built near the Icarus Resource Centre, the primary school Urafiki and the high school Cardinal Otunga and will host a conference room for 400 people, a kitchen, toilets and a sheltered space for events. The meeting room will be used mainly for teacher training activities, which already started two years ago at theIcarus Resource Center,  where teachers can access also  alibraryand acomputer lab.The space will be also used for educational reading activities involving around 600 students from the high schools of Nairobi and as a dining hall for more than 240 children from the Urafiki primary school and 150 students and teachers from the Cardinal Otunga high school.
Position paper: AVSI’s view of education