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Save the Children is at a turning point in our education work. Rewrite the Future has succeeded. In conflict-affected areas, over 1.4 million children have obtained access to school. More than 10 million children have benefited from our education programs.
This is just the start of our plans for education for the hardest to reach children. We are now building on the success of Rewrite the Future and expanding programs in the poorest countries, including those affected by conflict and emergencies.
Our focus is now ensuring the quality of learning. Many children are the first in their families to have access to formal education. We must help to ensure that they learn the skills and lessons they will need to thrive.
Building on the work we have done on early childhood care and development, we are leveraging one of the most effective early interventions to unlock the potential of children.
Since 2006, Rewrite the Future has improved the quality of education for 10.6 million children affected by conflict and emergencies. But today over 40 million children still are denied a basic education because of conflicts and many more don't receive the quality education that is their right. To help promote global education, actress America Ferrera has joined Save the Children as an Artist Ambassador for education.
In a joint statement released Nov. 20, 2008, 31 winners of the Nobel Peace Prize enlisted by Save the Children called for urgent action to implement quality education and build peace in conflict-affected countries. Hundreds of writers worldwide have joined Save the Children in demanding that all children have the opportunity to attend school.
Over the long run, education is integral to building peace and prosperity. With well-trained teachers and appropriate curricula, schools can leave a legacy for a generation of young people who will have skills for employment, an understanding of their rights, and an appreciation for the rights of others.
Without education children's futures are bleak. More than 40 million children affected by armed conflict are facing a future without education — without hope. During times of conflict, families split up and survival, not school, becomes the most urgent concern.
Children and young people not only face injury, but also face the prospect of being forced to become soldiers or sex slaves. They face new responsibilities such as earning a living or caring for siblings.
Conflict can destroy school buildings and supply systems for teaching materials. Teachers and administrators are often among the dead or displaced. Those children who have access to school often receive very poor quality education. Even when conflict had ended, their futures are damaged because of the learning time they've lost.