Rome, 10 November 2017 – With close to 30 million children living in conflict-affected countries, and hundreds of thousands of families displaced by natural disasters, education in times of crisis and conflict is fundamental to achieving the goal of universal education.
In light of the importance of quality education for individuals affected by forced displacement, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) at Fordham University recently hosted a five-day intensive course on education in emergencies. The course, held in Rabat, Malta from 2 to 6 October, provided participants with tools to design educational projects in emergency and post-conflict situations.
Co-directed by Gonzalo Sánchez-Terán, Deputy Humanitarian Programs Director at IIHA, and Nadezhna Castellano, JRS International Education Specialist, the course specifically emphasized the mechanisms required to improve quality of education during and after humanitarian crises.
Of the 24 students who attended the course, more than half were JRS members, professionals, and practitioners working in 14 different countries worldwide. The diversity of this year’s cohort offered participants the opportunity to explore a rich and more complex vision of interventions across the globe. Along with the directors and external lecturers, participants conducted in-depth analyses of current standards and examined current and past education projects and program initiatives by leading NGOs and UN agencies.
“It is essential for JRS to not only broaden but deepen our analysis of the education sector as conflicts and emergencies are complex so that our actions are appropriate and effective. The course has helped us achieve this,” said participant Louie Bacomo, a JRS International Programmes Officer.
The course was aligned with many of the core principles of JRS’s Global Education Initiative (GEI), a campaign in which JRS has committed to raising 35 million dollars and doubling the number of people served in its education projects to more than 240,000 by the year 2020.
For displaced persons, quality education is an essential asset that JRS and IIHA will not allow to be overlooked.