Recently I've been so moved by the work of UNICEF's Next Generation, a diverse group of young professionals who believe in a day when zero children will die of preventable causes. NextGen is doing an extraordinary job of drawing attention to the crisis in Syria and, in particular, its impact on children. Through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States these folks are doing what it takes to save and protect the world's most vulnerable children. I attended a talk this week with journalist and New York Times bestselling author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, who spoke of the power of education to transform lives. Here are some takeaways:
- The misconception is that our help won't even put a dent in such a massive problem. The truth is: Do as much as you can, for as many as you can, for as long as you can. That is how we effect change.
- The miconception is that these children are a world away. What do they have to do with us? The truth is: In a highly interconnected global society, children many miles away are our business and our concern.
- Financial contributions facilitate makeshift schools (such as school-in-a-box) and, moreover, community interaction for displaced children who feel isolated and trapped. Though these solutions may be fleeting, they do serve to inoculate against hopelessness, and the power of hope cannot be overstated.
Here's some info on the No Lost Generation: Syria Education Project. Contact UNICEF NextGen to help!
In 2014 NextGen selected a $500,000 project to support equitable access to education for out of school kids in Syria and the Region. The Syrian crisis has displaced hundreds of thousands of children, preventing many from accessing schooling. Without education, protection, and support for these children, there is a risk of losing an entire generation to this conflict. This project will support education efforts in Syria and neighboring countries by increasing access to learning spaces, expanding access to recreational activities and and strengthening alternative education programs for out-of-school kids.