Youth are taking action to #FundEducation

A call to young people around the world on International Youth Day

Female students from the University of Laos during a Library Week event in campus. Gender equality in education enhances productivity and improves development goals for the next generation. Credit: World Bank/HUMA

Female students from the University of Laos during a Library Week event in campus. Gender equality in education enhances productivity and improves development goals for the next generation.

CREDIT: World Bank/HUMA

“Nothing about us without us” is a rallying cry that will be heard across the global on this year’s International Youth Day. The slogan is used to communicate the idea that no policy should be decided by any representative without the full and direct participation of members of the group affected by that policy.

It is a slogan youth advocates are embracing to demand that world leaders listen to their voices on issues that affect them and their futures, especially the provision of safe, quality education for all.

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Our Education Shapes Futures series highlights some powerful stories of how youth have benefited from education.

GPE works with youth

At the Global Partnership for Education we embrace and support young people in their advocacy work. We have seen first hand over the years the power of youth in making change happen, such as in our 2014 replenishment campaign.

The campaign saw a range of youth advocacy initiatives, from films calling on governments to act, to youth takeovers across Africa in support of funding education and powerful speakers at our replenishment conference. Their efforts were fundamental to the success of the campaign that saw donor and domestic country partner governments pledging to significantly increase their funding of education.

Getting engaged in GPE’s replenishment

Three and a half years later we are starting to ramp up our next replenishment campaign to drive improved quality and access to education for 870 million children and youth. To achieve this, we are calling on all partners to pledge at our replenishment conference in early 2018 to increase their funding of education. The goal is for

  • Donor governments to support GPE with US$2 billion by 2020.
  • Developing country governments to allocate 20% of government expenditure to education.
  • Philanthropic foundations and private sector donors to step up their targeted contributions.

These targets will only be reached if different types of organizations, institutions, governments and individuals come together to take action: young people are critical partners in this work, here are some things that are happening and some things young people can do!

Youth action is already happening

There is already powerful replenishment advocacy being led and informed by young people in several countries and at key global moments:

  • 29th African Union Summit - GPE Youth Advocates and other young leaders called on African Leaders to prioritize education and invest 20% or more of their national government expenditure, and invest in girls education.
  • The Annual Youth Education And Empowerment Summit being organized and convened by young people in Liberia.
  • Plans to mobilize girls, and boys, in Pakistan and Nigeria at high-level political events on the Day of the Girl Child in October to call for increased investment in girls’ education.

GPE has a youth advisory board that is helping to develop ideas about how to work with more young people from across GPE partner countries and mobilize the energy and reach they have to get their governments to make bold pledges at GPE’s replenishment.  

As we build up this work we want to hear from other young people about their plans and we want to encourage and enable young people to be leading advocates in the world’s united efforts to fund education.

Ways for young people to get involved

As we build up this work we want to hear from other young people about their plans and we want to encourage and enable young people to be leading advocates in the world’s united efforts to fund education. Here are some ideas of what you could do:

  • Write a letter to your President or Prime Minister asking them to increase their funding of education.
  • Develop a short film with your friends about your education experiences and why it is so important for your governments to fund education. 
  • Reach out to local civil society organizations to see if you can get involved in their education campaign events and activities.
  • Write a blog series about different children in your community and the different barriers they face to getting a quality education, calling on your government to fund education fully to overcome those barriers. Contact us to get your blog featured here.

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Youth

Author(s)

Emily joined the Global Partnership for Education as an advocacy consultant in April 2017 within the Southern Partnership and External Relations team.  She has over 10 years experience in international development advocacy...

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