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Tackling Poverty With Education: World Poverty Day

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: 17 OCTOBER 2006


Tackling Poverty With Education on World Poverty Day

Poverty around the world is restricting the potential of children. An end to poverty worldwide is possible and further, we must all take responsibility for contributing to this goal: governments, organisations, businesses and individuals alike, according to Save the Children New Zealand.

Save the Children is working with poor communities in over 100 countries around the world with a key aim being to end poverty and lift the wellbeing of children. Education plays a key part of this work. Education saves lives by teaching children: how to protect themselves from danger; about good nutrition; disease prevention; improves their chances of making a living; and helps them escape poverty. Schools also provide a safe zone for children affected by armed conflict.

"Poverty restricts access to education for millions of children living in poor communities. The costs of school fees and school uniforms; malnutrition; poverty related disease and the need for children to work to support their family are key examples of how poverty restricts access to education. Yet education is vital to lift the wellbeing of poor communities," Executive Director of Save the Children New Zealand, John Bowis, said.

"Save the Children provides support from: drop in centres where working children can access education, to building schools and training teachers in rural communities with no school facilities. It runs early childhood education classes in some of the most difficult environments children live in: for example, in the Dauladtia brothel community in Bangladesh. The children start to learn through play as well as receiving nutritional supplements that help keep them healthy.

"While we call on all organisations and individuals to help in the battle to end poverty – it is essential that the New Zealand government, play its part in particular, as a large donor, and lift aid contributions to 0.7 per cent of GNI from the current 0.27 per cent.

Save the Children is a member of Make Poverty History – the MPH month of mobilisation ends today but the work will continue until poverty is eliminated from the world.

--

Notes to Editor


The focus of Save the Children's Annual Appeal this year was on helping children who can't go to school, to get an education.

Key facts and figures regarding children who can't go to school:

- 115 million children world wide can’t go to school each day

- Children who need education can’t get it because of: poverty, armed conflict, no school in their district, no birth certificate, child labour

- Almost one in five of all primary school age children in the world are not in school

- More than one third of out-of-school children live in South Asia

- Nine out of ten children are out of school in Somalia, the highest national rate in the world

- 82 per cent of out-of-school children live in rural areas

- 81 per cent of out-of-school children in West and Central Africa have a mother with no education

- In India, the likelihood of boys being in school is 6 percentage points higher than for girls

- 45 per cent of out-of-school children in Mali are involved in child labour

- School attendance in Mali is increased by 42.7 percentage points if the mother has secondary or higher education


Facts and Figures from 'Children out of School', UNESCO, 2005.


ENDS

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