Core Problems / Challenges:
A good quality education is the foundation of health and well-being. For people to lead healthy and productive lives, they need knowledge to prevent sickness and disease. For children and adolescents to learn, they need to be well nourished and healthy. Education is a catalyst for development and a health intervention in its own right. Children in poor countries face many barriers to accessing an education. Some are obvious – like not having a school to go to – while others are more subtle, like the teacher at the school not having had the training needed to effectively help children to learn. The barriers to education are:
1. A lack of funding for education
2. Having no teacher, or having an untrained teacher
3. No classroom
4. A lack of learning materials
5. The exclusion of children with disabilities
6. Being the ‘wrong’ gender
7. Living in a country in conflict or at risk of conflict
8. Distance from home to school
9. Hunger and poor nutrition - The impact of hunger on education systems is gravely underreported. Being severely malnourished, to the point it impacts on brain development, can be the same as losing four grades of schooling. Around 171 million children in developing countries are stunted by hunger by the time they reach age 5. Stunting can affect a child’s cognitive abilities as well as their focus and concentration in school. As a result, stunted children are 19% less likely to be able to read by age eight. Conversely, good nutrition can be crucial preparation for good learning.
10. The expense of education (formal or informal fees) - In many developing countries, over the last decades governments have announced the abolition of school fees and as a result, seen impressive increases in the number of children going to school. But for many of the poorest families, school remains too expensive and children are forced to stay at home doing chores or work themselves. Families remain locked in a cycle of poverty that goes on for generations. In many countries in Africa, while education is theoretically free, in practice ‘informal fees’ see parents forced to pay for ‘compulsory items’ like uniforms, books, pens, extra lessons, exam fees or funds to support the school buildings.
In order to address to the above mentioned barriers, this foundation is being established.