Monday, September 8, 2014

International Literacy Day
September 8, 2014

  "Literacy is a key lever of change and a practical tool of empowerment on each of the three main pillars of sustainable development: economic development, social development and environmental protection."
Former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan

Today is International Literacy Day, a day to celebrate and encourage literacy. All over the world tremendous strides are being made in literacy and education, but there are many notable exceptions. There are even places, such as Gaza, where literacy is moving the wrong way. Children are being hampered in their learning by external forces.
According to the New York Times, there are 648 schools in Gaza with 421 of the buildings being shared in double shifts. Since the recent violence, 34 buildings have been damaged beyond repair and dozens more need major repairs. Add the addition of 60,000 people whose homes were destroyed that are being sheltered in school buildings, and you have an insurmountable problem. (

Schools are already three weeks late, and an opening day is not in sight. Even if schools were to open tomorrow, how many children would be able to study and learn? Democracy Now! Gives August 21 numbers as: 500 kids dead, 3,000 injured (over 1,000 of whom will suffer from lifelong disability), and 373,000 traumatized. Pernille Ironside, chief of UNICEF’s Gaza field office said, “There isn’t a single family in Gaza who hasn’t experienced personally death, injury, the loss of their home, extensive damage, displacement, The psychological toll that has on a people, it just cannot be overestimated, and especially on children."

Sadly, many of these children may never reach their full potential, yet there are ways we can help.
You can help UNRWA rebuild schools in Gaza
Click here to donate
UNRWA must repair, rebuild, equip schools and they also provide food and counseling when they can.

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