The Seventh-day Adventist Church and its global humanitarian arm, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), today announced the second phase of the Every Child. Everywhere. In School. campaign during this year’s global church leadership meetings. The joint initiative will now mobilize government support in countries around the world through the Adventist Church 22-million-plus membership—including individuals, church ministries, schools and partners to influence positive change so that every child can have access to education.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created even greater challenges for the most vulnerable children. Ninety-four percent of the world’s student population has been impacted by this crisis. It is our responsibility as a global church to ensure that we care for children as God cares for us,” says Ted Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “The Adventist church has one of the largest Christian educational systems in the world and with more than 22 million church members globally, we have the moral and Christian obligation to ensure that every child, everywhere has access to a quality education, regardless of race, religion or circumstance.”
The first phase of the grassroots advocacy effort kicked-off in October 2019 with a petition drive aimed at collecting a million online signatures by 2020, to raise awareness and support for the millions of children, adolescents and youth globally who lack education. According to the latest report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) data, one out of five children and youth are out of school, and the coronavirus pandemic is responsible for the largest disruption in history, affecting 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries, across every continent.
The Every Child. Everywhere. In School. campaign surpassed its one million petition goal in July of this year. ADRA and Adventist church members in nearly 200 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the South Pacific pledged their support to call on world leaders, local governments, and decision makers to take action to improve children’s education everywhere.
“We have laid the groundwork for the next phase of this campaign. Now we have a unique opportunity to focus on an issue that has affected nearly every child around the world during the pandemic, a problem that will only worsen unless we step up and speak out. This is why in partnership with the global Adventist church we will be reaching out to government leaders, lawmakers and citizens to advocate for more investments in education and better access for all children so that they can play a strong role in building healthy and prosperous communities and nations,” says Michael Kruger, president of ADRA. “It is time to encourage world leaders and policy makers to value education and to make the necessary changes to meet the educational needs of children around the world. We must work together to enable children to succeed in school, and live free from exploitation and poverty.”
Advocacy in Progress: The Next Phase of Every Child. Everywhere. In School.
The second phase of the Every Child. Everywhere. In School. campaign will engage Adventist church members globally to advocate to policy makers to take concrete steps to achieve education goals for children. As part of this effort, the campaign has published “The Global Education Report Every Child. Everywhere. In School. What it’s Going to Take,” which will serve as a roadmap to help governments and advocates identify critical areas where policy changes are required to improve children’s education in their own communities. Those areas include financing education, inclusion in education, quality and retention in education, and the impact of education in natural disaster and crisis. Download the report HERE.
The three key priorities of the second phase of the campaign will focus on 1) increasing education funding in developing countries; 2) increasing foreign aid among wealthy nations to support education in low-income countries; and 3) improving educational and social inclusion for marginalized students, especially girls and children with disabilities.
More specifically, these recommendations aim to:
- Increase domestic investment in education by ensuring spending meets minimum financing benchmarks: 4 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 15 percent government expenditure.
- Increase foreign aid for education by lifting aid to 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) and dedicating a least 10 percent to education.
- Allocating a minimum of 50 percent of education aid to low-income countries.
- Committing resources for gender-responsive and disability-inclusive education to address social and cultural barriers and improve inclusion of marginalized children.
To help Adventist members around the world support the next steps of this campaign, ADRA has created a resource kit for church ministry departments, local churches, youth groups and schools to equip supporters with communication and advocacy resources to prepare them to advocate to local leaders and elected officials.
Global Education Report
- This policy report analyzes the state of out-of-school children around the globe and the policies and actions needed to address this problem.
- Download HERE.
The Next Step: From Support to Action
- This guide outlines how church ministry departments, local churches, youth groups and schools can get involved in Phase 2 of the campaign.
Resource Kit – Download HERE
“How to” Resources:
- A Brief Guide on How to Lobby Your Politician for the Every Child. Everywhere. In School. Movement
- Policy Guidance for the Every Child. Everywhere. In School. Movement
- How to Write a Policy Briefing Sheet for the Every Child. Everywhere. In School. Movement in your Country
- Sample Briefing Sheet (from Australia)
- Letter Writing Guide for the Every Child. Everywhere. In School. Movement
- Sample Letter
Campaign Media Kit – Download HERE
- Press release and press release template
- Videos and photos
- Media relations tips
- Success cases
- Facts and Stats
To download additional resources or access more information about the Every Child. Everywhere. In School. campaign, visit ADRA.org/InSchool/Resources.
For journalist inquiries only, please email press@ADRA.org.
ABOUT THE EVERY CHILD CAMPAIGN
Every Child Everywhere in School is a global Adventist-led movement to ensure that every child everywhere in the world attends school, has access to free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education, and completes their education so they can fulfill their God-given potential. Learn more at ADRA.org/InSchool.
ABOUT THE ADVENTIST CHURCH
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination which is distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the seventh day of the week in Christian and Jewish calendars, as the Sabbath, and its emphasis on the imminent Second Coming (advent) of Jesus Christ. The world church is governed by a General Conference with smaller regions administered by divisions, union conferences, and local conferences. It currently has a worldwide baptized membership of over 20 million people, and 25 million adherents. Learn more at Adventist.org.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the international humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church serving in 118 countries. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. ADRA’s purpose is to serve humanity so all may live as God intended. For more information, visit ADRA.org.
This article was written by Kimi-Roux James and originally appeared on the ADRA. website.
Image courtesy of ADRA.
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