Ana Londoño Botero intern at SB OverSeas, shares her take-aways from a recent conference hosted by the UN University- CRIS in Bruges where SB OverSeas gave a presentation:
Being a migrant is not a crime, this is especially true with children, people tend to forget that a child is still that: a child. This was highlighted by Dr. Sandie Blanchet, Director of the UNICEF Office for Relations with the EU at an event on children in crisis, where she put the spotlight on children as half or over half of the population affected by conflict-led migration.
SB OverSeas also had the pleasure of participating in this event on March 18 on “Child Protection in Emergencies” organized by the United Nations University –CRIS in Bruges.
Most of these emergencies are silent, no one talks about it and they do not get the attention they require, reason why it is so important for you, the reader and all the organizations in the field to work together to increase the visibility and action and get people involved.
All children, regardless if they are refugees or not should have access to education, sadly this is far from the reality, as Mr. Stefan Maier- Senior policy and Legal Support unit in UNHCR points out, while 92% of the children in the world attend primary school, only 61% of refugee children have this possibility, for secondary enrollment the statistics are even less optimistic as 84% of children worldwide has access to this compared to 23% of refugee children. This means that less than a quarter of the world refugees make it to secondary school. Finally, only 1% progress to higher education.
Education is a strong tool for protection and a mean of creating stability and providing continuity as it enables the children and youth to thrive, not just to survive. SB Overseas is currently active in the phases required to provide access to education for refugees in Lebanon, with our non-formal Catch up schools and our recreational activities we create a safe learning space that will allow the children to move forward to a more formal education. Dr Blanchet pointed out 1/3 children in the country is now a refugee. Reason why UNICEF is working along with the Education Minister to strengthen their system and allow it to include these children, this way not only the refugees will benefit from the crisis intervention, the host country can also profit from the programs.
You can get involved from Brussels and help as continue our work in providing education though catch up schools in Lebanon, you can either in Brussels where we work with unaccompanied minors in the weekends, or in Lebanon as a teacher in one of our three schools. If you have further questions and a desire to get engaged with our organization do not hesitate to contact us!