Basic education and gender equality

UNICEF and Nelson Mandela launch child-friendly schools programme

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Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela recently launched a worldwide campaign in order to build more schools in Sub-Saharan Africa
NEW YORK, 13 December 2004 – Nelson Mandela, UNICEF and the Hamburg Society for the Promotion of Democracy and International Law have together launched a worldwide campaign in order to build more schools in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Educating all of our children must be one of our urgent priorities,” said Mr. Mandela,  former President of South Africa and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, at a launch event on 6 December. “No child in Africa, and in fact anywhere in the world, should be denied education. I know that we can reach this goal.”

Sub-Saharan African countries are among the few in the world where school enrolments are not increasing. Approximately 45 million children do not go to school – at least 40 percent of boys and 44 percent of girls.

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© UNICEF South Africa/2004
UNICEF Regional Director Per Engebak (first from left) explains the concept of child-friendly schools
“No investment has such a lasting effect as the education of children,” said UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and South Africa Per Engebak.

“Children who are educated grow up to be parents with healthier children who have a better chance of survival, and are in turn more likely to go to school, are more self-assured and can more easily assume a profession.  Education is also the only effective ‘vaccine’ against HIV/AIDS,” said Mr. Engebak.

Six Sub-Saharan countries – Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe – will be the first to benefit from the money raised by the campaign. Programmes in each country will construct, rehabilitate and equip schools. The focus will be on providing a basic quality education to the poorest, most vulnerable children, with special emphasis on girls and orphans.

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© UNICEF South Africa/2004
South African Minister of Education Ms. Naledi Pandor (third from left) meets Peter Kraemer (second from right), Chairman of the Hamburg Society for Democracy and International Law, who initiated the Schools for Africa campaign
“The development of the children of Africa is the concern of each and every one of us,” said Peter Kraemer, Chairman of the Hamburg Society for the Promotion of Democracy and International Law, who initiated the Schools for Africa campaign with a $1 million donation. “In comparison to the people of Africa, we in the industrialized nations have a good life. We have the means to support a better future for African children.”

 

 

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13 December 2004: Nelson Mandela campaigns to get more African children to school

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Schools For Africa

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