Press Release: Education in emergencies

                          Photo: Archivio COOPI



8th of September – International Literacy Day

In 2014, 263 million children didn’t attend school; in conflicting countries 50 % of children have no access to education


Literacy is understood as “the process by which a person or group of people comes to use the alphabet to read, and possibly write; thus, modes, tools and techniques of teaching and learning to read and write “- from the Treccani Encyclopedia.

“A theme now outdated” is the common thought on the subject. In fact, few adopt a broad spectrum of views. Even less those who ask: how do you guarantee teaching instruments, methods and techniques in countries where water and food are not available?

The answer is very simple: they are not guaranteed.

Therefore, celebrating the International Literacy Day on September 8th is fundamental to spread information about it and stimulate the young and old minds around us.

COOPI SUISSE gives a great deal of attention to this topic and its activities include several initiatives. One of its initiatives regard the reconstruction of the primary school of Ngaoundaye, in the Central African Republic – a country which has been affected by major humanitarian crises over the last three years. 337 boys and 331 girls between the ages of 6 and 11, a total of 668 students, had the opportunity to attend a school structure equipped with all the tools needed for learning”, reports Carla Ricci, chairman of the Lugano-based association.

In CAR, almost all of the school services suffered a complete destruction, leading to a further drop in education – which is already at an extremely low level (with an average of 30% and 18% considering the female rate).

From the beginning of the school year 2014 (September / October) to mid-February 2015,  schools were open for roughly only four weeks. Infrastructures are insufficient to accommodate all students and violence and insecurity have serious consequences for the children’s education.

In emergency situations, education can help reduce the psycho-social impact of conflicts and provide stability and hope for a better future. A future ensured primarily by the citizen’s degree of education. It is for this reason that so many NGOs prioritize the support of literacy in conflicting countries. 

Therefore, at the top of COOPI’s projects stands education – a necessary instrument to stimulate new minds that will change things in the future.

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