HP Connects with Syrian Children Refugees Missing Out On An Education
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Almost 60 million people were in forced displacement in 2015, the highest number since 1945. Now, a report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Global Education Monitoring, points out that refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than non-refugees, and that among refugees, only 50 percent of children are in primary school and only 25 percent of adolescents are in secondary school. The civil war in Syria has contributed to the sharp increase in reported incidents of children being stopped from accessing education, physically attacked for trying to go to school or having their school bombed, or recruited by armed groups. It is estimated that nearly five million Syrians are now refugees, half of them are children. Worse, it is always girls who are the first to miss out.
Education is every child’s basic human right and HP is one of 15 companies doing something about it. HP is working with the Global Alliance Institute and Girl Scouts’ Nations Capital, to support the Girl’s Truth Seekers Education Project. The project will connect Girl Scouts in the Washington D.C. area with young refugee girls currently living in countries bordering Syria. The girls will exchange knowledge and the program will allow Syrian girls to continue their education.
As part of the program, local ‘learning centers’ will be established so groups of teenage girls can attend scheduled classes regularly. Syrian girls will take part in virtual, online classes to learn English while the Girl Scouts will receive ‘Truth Seeker’ badges for their work. HP donated the equipment necessary to make sure this is a success, understanding the mindset change growing through these relationships can have between girls in the US and Syria. This initiative is connecting girls with very different life experiences by helping them develop their understanding of each other and the wider world.
HP has also funded and provided technology to 57 Community Technology Centers, which are run by UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees in refugee camps across the country. This includes access to computers, computer literacy and connectivity for refugees and internally displaced people. In both cases, as well as donating practical tools, the HP Foundation’s free e-learning program, HP LIFE, is also offered as part of the training packages.
HP has been recognised by the White House for taking action to help refugees through education and technology.
The power of education gives peace to young minds, provides a sense of safety and a normal life. Going to school is a source of hope and dreams, giving young people the tools to rebuild. Education is the best long-term way to break cycles of violence and set communities on the path to peace, yet it is often the first budget line cut by governments facing conflict, and accounts for only two percent of humanitarian aid, which is why HP getting involved with the White House efforts to engage the private sector is one way to return hope to these Syrian children.
Photo Credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images on 3BL Media/HP