"One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world."
Malala Yousafzai, Student & Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Businesses commit $50 Million to get Syrian children back into school

January 21, 2016 GBC Education, Olivia Simone, Tyler Zang, Lauren Lichtman

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We are delighted to share that the Luminos Fund (formally known as the Speed School Fund) has been featured in the recent GBC-Education press release, which was presented ahead of their appearance at Davos 2016, covering the subject of emergency education for out-of-school Syrian refugee children. 

GBC-Education has enlisted more than 50 companies to support the education of Syrian refugee children. Together, these Coalition members and partners are committing more than $50 million through financing and in-kind support, the first set of commitments from the private sector in the lead up to the Syria Donors Conference.

These corporate commitments are critical to the global education development effort, particularly as the private sector continues to evaluate how they can support humanitarian efforts in hopes of inspiring donor governments to take further and appropriate action. Historically, companies have been bound by their corporate social responsibility pledges which limit their contributions to social efforts, or have been otherwise excluded from such conversations. Now, by directly addressing the Syrian refugee crisis, the private sector is simultaneously showcasing their unique position of delivering strategic, innovative solutions to further humanitarian efforts, while reinforcing the business case for investing in education. With the resolute stance to support out-of-school Syrian refugee children, these businesses are setting a precedent for prioritizing and rethinking approaches to protecting education in emergency.

Other contributions span across a range of institutions and include scholarship financing and mentoring for children pursuing higher education from NGO Jusoor; the curation of free digital learning content into effective curriculum through a rapidly growing online community of thousands of volunteer educators from NGO Rumie; technology supporting digital learning from The Breteau Foundation; and the expertise of institutions like New York University through its Global TIES Programme. Foundations such as Ikea Foundation, Makhzoumi Foundation and Mikati Foundation also pledged support.

GBC-Education Executive Chair Sarah Brown announced these commitments — which include not only financing, but also crucial thought leadership and in-kind support — at a press conference on Thursday during the World Economic Forum taking place in Davos, Switzerland. Norway Minister of Foreign Affairs Borge Brende, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, and UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown joined her in the effort to support the 24 million out-of-school children currently living in conflict zones.

“Our coalition members are not only supporting with money, but bringing their vast expertise, ideas, creativity, and connections to tackle this enormous challenge,” said Sarah Brown. “This is not only about getting children back into the classroom but also making sure that they are safe getting to school and that teachers have access to the right resources to ensure that they are delivering a quality of education. A challenge like this creates a space for business to really show how they can play a huge role, and make a fundamental difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in the world.”

Read the press release here.

Thumbnail photo by Tyler Zang.