In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, every third child doesn't get the chance to go to school, trapped behind an insurmountable wall of ignorance, poverty and discrimination.
UNICEF SFA International Fundraising Campaign was initiated in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Hamburg Society, newly renamed to Peter Krämer Stiftung, for the promotion of Democracy and International Law.
Launched in Cape Town on December 6, 2004, Schools for Africa was the brainchild of German shipping magnate Peter Krämer, who has personally donated EUR 3.8 million (around USD 5.0 million) to the campaign. Since then, it has continued to attract contributions totalling many millions of dollars from prominent corporate, foundation and individual donors.
After a very successful first phase (2005-2009) aiming at raising 50 million $ to benefit 4 million children in 6 countries in Africa, Schools for Africa Phase II was launched in 2010 and aims at raising at least a further 70 million $ by 2013 to benefit more children in 11 countries in Africa. Now Phase III is set to launch in 2014 with the aim of raising a further US$80 million for children in 13 countries by 2017.
In the context of the child-friendly "Schools for Africa" initiative, UNICEF is working with governments, local authorities, communities and other partners in 13 countries in Africa including Angola, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Zimbabwe to create those conditions that will attract children to school, keep them there and provide them with a safe and protective environment where they can learn and play.
Our focus is on helping the most disadvantaged – including girls, boys, orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) who suffer from the negative impact of HIV and AIDS; children affected by armed conflicts and natural disasters; children with disabilities and special needs, children from nomadic/pastoralist communities; and children from very poor households in remote rural areas and urban slums. Even when enrolled in school, as many as half primary school pupils drop out before attaining the necessary knowledge and skills, due to the low quality of education they receive in the classroom and the low ‘quality’ of experiences they have in and around schools. It is therefore imperative to continue to improve all key aspects of ‘quality’ of education in African countries, including learning environments, contents, processes, and outcomes. At the same time, UNICEF strives to help national agencies institutionalize and scale-up the Schools for Africa approach and framework, so that local successes can be replicated many times over, across the country.
Schools for Africa is making a significant contribution to Nelson Mandela's legacy and vision for the education of Africa's children and the alleviation of poverty, particularly in rural areas.
“I have visited primary schools in three African countries being supported by Schools for Africa. If you see the enthusiasm and the willingness of these kids to learn, to walk a distance of more than five kilometres to reach the school, if you see how self-confident these kids become after six years of education, you will strongly believe in the words of the great old man Nelson Mandela: “Education is the key to everything: to human dignity, to prosperity to health and the first basis for any democratic development. Education is the strongest weapon for change of any society to the better.”
We need your help to ensure that millions of children in Africa have an education and a better future."