One Billion Voices For Education Stories

#OneBillionVoicesforEducation Stories
Acting now to elevate the voices of those affected

Are you one of the BILLION people whose education was affected by COVID-19? Was your child’s education, your nieces and nephew’s, your friends’ education affected? The world needs to hear your story of hope, despair, resilience, organisation and mobilisation.

LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD! Share your story with us on [email protected]!

Are you concerned about the future of the Billion students and children whose education was stopped or interrupted because of Covid19? Read their stories below!

Maritza Valdés Torres’ dream for her daughter

In the small community of Mancura, in the Pomacanchi district of Peru, Maritza Valdés Torres, dreams of her daughter attending university and reaching professional opportunities. When school closed, and even though she received little education herself, she taught her daughter every day at home. Watch Martiza’s interview here.

 

 

 

 

 

When COVID- 19 takes away the only safe space

Shamarke and Zakariye respectively 14 and 13 years old, used to live on the streets of Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia. Like many other children, they were pushed on the street by poverty and family breakdowns. “I left my parents when I was so young. I do not know the whereabouts of my family” said Shamarke.

COVID-19 has inflicted deep and widespread impacts on the Somali economy, endangering the livelihoods of many families and putting even more children at risk of ending up on the street.

In parallel to that, school-closures have had a huge impact on children in Somalia. Even before COVID-19, it was estimated that of the 4.5 million school-aged children, only 1.5 million children were in school, leaving 3 million school-aged children out of school.

The prolonged school closures have exposed many more children to abuse and exploitation, taking away what was for many the only safe space. “Before I used to live with street children. Most of them used to have big knives. I was taken out of these gangs. Now I live in a good place. I urge other street children to go back to school.” Shamarke said.

The school was indeed instrumental in getting Shamarke and Zakariye off the streets. Thanks to Kadare Street Children Re-integration Centre, a member of the Somalia Coalition for Education For All (EFASOM), they were able to resume their education in December 2020.

Zakariye: “I used to live as a street child at Ceelgaab area of Hamarweyne district of Mogadishu. I was addicted to drugs. Now I am healthy and studying. I have a place to sleep and food to eat. In the future, I hope to be a school teacher”.

My contribution to society during the COVID-19 pandemic-José Luis Pérez-Peru

Hello, my name is José Pérez. I am a geographic engineering student at the National University “Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos”. I have been fortunate to be a recipient of the Accommodation Scholarship awarded by the same university and the Boarding Grant awarded by the Ministry of Education.

My contribution to society during the pandemic has been through the generation of the OXIMAP platform, which has been a great support for the most vulnerable families during Covid-19, by facilitating access to safe oxygen recharging points, cheap and, in some cases, free”. José Luis Pérez is from Chanchamayo, a province in the Junín region, located in the central highlands of Peru.

Thanks to these two grants he mentions, he can study at a university.

Scholarships and grants are indicators of the financial increase invested in public higher education. Watch the video in Spanish here.

Muhammad’s dream

“My dream is to become a researcher in science or mathematics”

8-year-old Muhammad’s dream is to become a researcher in science or mathematics. With the spread of COVID- 19, primary schools across Egypt closed, and Muhammad was unable to enrol in second grade. Muhammad’s family found a volunteer program called “the little genius” that seeks to discover students talented in mathematics. The family travelled 40km daily from their small village to the town of Kharga in order for Muhammad to attend the training. The program eventually had to stop as well, but this did not stop Muhammad who now practices at home the mental arithmetic games he learnt in training and shares them with his friends in the village.