"When we put education first, we can reduce poverty and hunger, end wasted potential - and look forward to stronger and better societies for all."
- Ban Kimoon, Secretary of the General of the United Nations
Education is a basic human right. Yet those who need education the most - children living in poverty - are the least likely to attend school and more likely to drop-out of school.
Every 26 seconds in the U.S. a student drops out of school, costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars in lost revenue, health care, welfare and incarceration costs.
Literacy unlocks the door to learning throughout life, is essential to development and health, and opens the way for democratic participation and active citizenship.
-Koﬁ Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General
Worldwide, nearly900 million people cannot read or write. Global Illiteracy drives extreme poverty, undermines democracy and fuels terrorism.
7.5 million students miss a month or more of school each year, only 49% of these students will graduate high school. Now think of the 61% that will never graduate.
Every 26 seconds an American student drops out of high school. 31 million drop-out yearly from school, if not even more. Students living in the toughest communities face enormous challenges even before they make it to school; family struggles, abuse, sleepless nights, hunger, violence and drugs are too often an everyday reality.
When urban students attend schools, more often their schools are challenging neighborhoods burdened with crime and violence, with crumbling infrastructures and over-burdened teachers, while additionally already facing many challenging realities of life.
Many school programs like music and art, even physical education that engage students in school and allow for outside play and free time, are also non-existent. The very few things that a student maybe looking forward to by attending school, the few things that can provide them with safety, a small refuge to help them forget about the daily stresses are not even there to give them the support they need. Schools should be safe grounds for all children. It should be a place to find refuge and learn how to overcome those struggles, not to add to them.
Every child should have a safe place to learn and thrive. Yet, the struggle to overcome these challenges leaves students feeling powerless and without hope. To tired to fight the system and too tired to constantly try to prove that they too deserve a chance to learn. Many just give up. Not to mention, many work full time on top of going to school. At times working minimum wage in the fields or local stores or in other unfortunate crime related situations.
In today's society, learning and education are essential to survival. Making a living wage without a high school diploma is not possible. And the students that drop out earn significantly less than their graduating peers and are more likely to be convicted of a crime, fall to violence, abuse drugs, cause harm to others. More importantly, they will struggle to ever leave the negative environment and will be less likely to fulfill their full potential, ever again.
For the local community to thrive and change it must provide safe opportunities for learning. And based on economic development in communities, those communities with the highest literacy and education rates continue to thrive despite economic set backs and downturns.
Every child that drops-out of school without positively contributing to their community and the world is responsible for the increase in financial and social cost and burden to their communities, to the increase in violence, hardship, crime and lack of economic development where they live.
Every child and every person can change that. And we can help change that together to make sure that every child has a safe place to learn and thrive.
In the Developing Countries Across the Globe
Worldwide, there are 57 million children of primary-school age without access to a classroom and education. 171 million would be lifted out of poverty if they received education. In the poorest countries on the planet children are being denied education because they lack access to a school. But developing communities and countries have other political and personal hardships to face as well. Water and shortage of food are just a few of the biggest burdens those children must face every day.
Every day the students lucky enough to attend class are squeezed into dark and crumbling mud huts, or are taught under trees when the weather permits, or have to walk multiple miles to a school in a neighboring village, hungry, without water and often too tired to think or focus. While others simply can't attend school at all, particularly girls, over 60 million girls are denied right to education, because of gender inequalities and labor distribution roles in certain cultures and ethnic groups.
Nearly 1 in 6 people around the world cannot read or write leaving a devastating impact on economic security, personal autonomy and health.
No country has ever achieved continuous and rapid economic growth without first having at least 40% of its adultsable to read and write.
And we can change that together ... in bigger numbers we change the world together