Third World Countries are plagued by crisis. Among the most critical is poverty, which has taken hundreds of children out of the classroom. Children are the world’s greatest resource. They are the future leaders and assets to national development. It is therefore the right of every child to be educated; unfortunately, worldwide many children aren’t aware of what education is, instead serving as slaves and child soldiers in fields and wars.
As a child growing up in Africa, I find myself in an environment witnessing how many parents struggle to educate their children. Every weekend, I go hawking as a trader with banana, eggs and bread, just to make some extra money to help my parents to keep me in the classroom. In the early hours of the morning a friend of mine sells newspapers as a vendor, before coming to school at 8 A.M. Despite the global assistance and benefits from advanced countries, many children in poor countries have no access to education.
There are no words to describe the plight of children roaming on the streets in Africa, Asia and South America, due to poverty. In the rural areas, imagine a school without a roof, as children sit and learn under shady trees. Imagine a child who carries his table and chair to learn and after school carries them back home. The classrooms haven’t any tables and chairs thus; the parents struggling to educate their children must provide those tables and chairs, with difficulties sometimes of buying text books.
Poverty hasn’t only taken children out of school but has also brought misery, sickness and exposing them as prey to physical or sexual abuse, having a devastating impact on families and communities. Due to poverty parents engage children in child labour, in order to improve their chances of attaining basic necessities. Extreme poverty statistics in parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America has pushed many children there to become child labourers.
How the European Union is making a difference in Somalia
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, once told a Georgetown University student that he experienced racism as a young Asian-American growing up in Iowa, but that he learned the true meaning of his identity when he began working to end poverty in Haiti, one of the world’s poorest nations. The stride to end or alleviate poverty is costly and long term process; it has therefore become illusion than a reality and also loan given to poor countries to fight poverty, often lands in the pocket of corrupt government officials. However, many foreign agencies, foundations and private associations are supporting and financing educational projects in Africa.
In Somalia, the European Union and its member states is collectively the largest donor in its educational development. The country has the weakest educational structure in the world and will not achieve any of the Millennium Development Goals on education by 2015. The European Union support focuses on creating primary and secondary education opportunities, vocational training and boosting employment.
United Kingdom as part of the donors assisting Somalia launched Girls Education Challenge, worth £21.3 million to get girls into school and ensure that they receive quality education and the new government-run program called Go2School to give a free elementary school education, has been successful putting at least 1 million children into classroom.
A child soldier and Somalia children in the classroom, photo credit: Somalia111.blogspot.com.