What do Children Want in Times of Emergency and Crisis? They Want an Education
When children living in crisis are asked what they need most, time and time again they tell us they want to continue their education. This is a collection of statements of what children want regarding their education. Children affected by crisis clearly prioritise education, alongside other essential needs such as food and livelihoods. Yet, the international community consistently fails to answer their call. Instead, education is regularly under-prioritised in humanitarian responses and is significantly underfunded by humanitarian donors. This lack of priority and funding has left at least 28.5 million primary school-aged children living in conflict affected countries without an education. They now disproportionately constitute half of the world’s out-of-school children.
Children are fully aware of the transformative power that education can have on their lives. They understand that education is the key to their future and their hopes for a better life. Being economically self-reliant as adults seems to be a key concern for children who want a stable life. They see education as providing them with the skills to achieve their dreams. Children affected by emergencies also see education as a means to help them better cope in future crises and to rebuild their lives as well as their countries. For example, children often say education will help them enter professions linked with helping others or resolving the crisis they are experiencing – such as doctors, nurses, teachers, leaders, lawyers or judges.