|Students of the International School in Ruyigi, Burundi|
March 14-17 : Delegates from 46 nations met in Dubai last week at the first World Conference on Education and Skills, where they discussed the emerging role of public-private partnerships in education. According to Chris Kirk, spokesman for the conference, "children and young people calling for a transformation of education to meet and exceed the expectations of families and communities around the world. Such intervention can only be achieved through cooperation between the public sector, the private sector and non-governmental organizations. " Currently, an estimated 72 million children do not have access to education, which leads to high unemployment rates and a workforce whose qualifications and skills are not adapted to the needs of the economy.
The nation of Burundi, whose President, E. Pierre Nkurunziza, attended the conference, is just one of many in Africa and Asia witnessing an unprecedented demand for quality, accessible education. One organization, the Maison Shalom, has responded to this demand with the creation of the International School, which offers education to students in rural Ruyigi. Currently, there are 185 children enrolled in the school; that number is projected to rise to 450 by 2016. As it is not funded by the government, the International School relies on the support of the private sector and NGOs in order to expand its capacity and services. Friends of Humanity is committed to supporting the education of children around the world, and is working with the International School to provide recreational facilities, classroom furniture, and learning materials, which will allow the school to accept and educate more students, improving the overall quality of life in Ruyigi and beyond in the years to come.
To read more about the Global Education and Skills Conference, click here.
To learn more about the International School and to donate to the project, click here.