Above: Street Library in Poland.
Education That Helps Eliminate Extreme Poverty and Exclusion
From 11 to 15 June, ATD Fourth World held an important international symposium on conditions necessary for all children to learn. Held at ATD’s International Centre in France, the conference gathered more than fifty people involved in education from 15 countries around the world: families living in poverty, teachers and other education professionals, facilitators, and researchers.
The goal of the workshop was to share and analyse the knowledge gained through the educational experiences these participants have been carrying out to guarantee access to quality education for all children.
Today, the ambition of education is universal: parents, children and communities, especially those experiencing the greatest challenges, consider learning as an opportunity for human and social development. Despite this shared goal, children living in poverty, together with their families and neighbourhoods, face multiple barriers when it comes to education.
In recent decades the international community has made significant efforts to ensure that all children have access to quality education. But to learn what will really transform schools so that they leave no one behind, we must look at initiatives that prioritize access for people who are excluded because of poverty.
Symposium participants shared and analysed the work of projects developed in close collaboration with people at a distance from education because of their poverty. These include:
- Health education project Welcome Babies and the Seeds of Hope pre-school in Haiti,
- Story Garden held at a flea market in the United States,
- Ang Galing! literacy program in the Philippines,
- Community mediation through art in Canada,
- Learning community project in Brazil,
- Student advocacy project involving parents in Tanzania,
- Reuniting families in Burkina Faso,
- Parents-Children gathering area and cultural hub in France,
- Cooperation and solidarity between children in Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo,
- Field library in Peru,
- Street library in the Central African Republic,
- Soap-making workshop in a neglected neighbourhood in Spain, etc.
Participants will also look at elements that are essential for the success of all children, using the “Learning from Success” approach. They will work on the following questions: what place do families living in poverty have in their educational communities? What education models does society need? How can communities be involved in education in order to develop constructive relationships with schools? How to develop education in a way that promotes cooperation and peace?
Symposium financed by AFD – Agence Française de Développement.