Education | ActionAid UK


Margaret, age 10, in class at her school near Mwakirunge dumpsite where she lives, just outside Mombasa in Kenya

Education opens up a future full of possibilities, not just for children but also for their families and communities. But too many children are still missing out on an education. 

The challenges

  • 9
    One in eleven children is out of school, totalling 59 million children in 2013. More than half of them are girls1.
  • 25
    More than one in four children in developing regions who start primary school is likely to drop out2.
  • 100
    Approximately $26 billion is needed every year to pay for the extra schools and teachers needed to educate every child3.

Education helps girls break out of the cycle of poverty

Across 27 countries, we work with parents, teachers and local authorities to make sure children have essentials like desks, books, food, drinking water and toilets at school. We know that a great education helps women and girls break out of the cycle of poverty. Our Girls’ Clubs create a safe place to talk, learn about rights and develop skills for life. We push governments to abolish school fees and uniforms to make sure every child can go to school, no matter where they were born. 

ActionAid Girls' Clubs help girls stay in school

Girls who finish school are healthier, earn more, marry later and have fewer children. But every year, millions of girls are forced to leave school to get married, work or help with housework. 

Girls’ Clubs offer a safe place for girls to learn and discover their rights – so that they can fight back against being married against their will, or subjected to abuse, like female genital mutilation (FGM).Trained by ActionAid, the girls are creating positive change within their communities. They go from door to door, telling parents what they have to gain by keeping their daughters in school. 

For girls like Simon, ActionAid’s support has opened doors to a better life.

Working to end violence against girls

 Walking for many miles to school every day, sometimes for 2-3 hours each way, leaves schoolgirls are at risk of attack – even rape or in extreme cases abduction, after which they can be forced into marriage or rejected by their families.  

We campaign to end violence against girls, working with communities to create ways to report crimes easily and safely. To help girls get to school, ActionAid provides them with bicycles. 

Disasters stop children from attending school

For many children, one of the impacts of a disaster is that they are no longer able to attend school, meaning that they miss out on a vital part of their education. ActionAid helps children to continue to learn. In Bangladesh, our shelters ensure schools continue during the monsoon.

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