Education

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While there is not a universal day set aside to promote the welfare of children, nations have been doing so for close to 100 years.

In 1925, the World Conference for the Well-being of Children observed the first-ever Children’s Day on June 1. Today, more than 50 countries around the world hold their festivities that day. In the United States, children are celebrated on the second Sunday of June, or June 8 for 2014. And eight countries mark the United Nations’ as Universal Children’s Day on November 20.

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Bouvanna Nhem crosses a river during her 8-mile hike to school. Arriving late and out of breath, it's hard to concentrate in class. Making the long trek each day wears her out. For Bouvanna, the daughter of a poor farming family in Cambodia's remote Ratanakiri province, school seems to be slipping further out of reach. She eventually drops out because of the distance and cost of secondary education.

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In 1998, CARE worked with 25 institutions in Peru to help pass a law that promoted universal basic education for girls. The law helped to address gender discrimination as well as ensuring that more resources for education reached rural areas of the country. By working with local civic groups, CARE helped to ignite a national movement to broaden girls’ access to basic education.

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I come from Panriang County of Unity State in South Sudan, an area that is rich of oil and where, in fact, about 50 percent of our oil reserves get explored. In 1987, when I was in my early teenage years, I joined the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/ Movement (SPLM/A). At that time, a lot of innocent Sudanese civilians particularly from Southern Sudan suffered from years of attacks on their villages, bombings and fighting. I grew up in a country that had already experienced two decades of war – conflict was all I knew.

Most young people in Andoung Tek commune in the southwestern province of Cambodia are eager to migrate to other provinces or over the border to Thailand, as they expect to have higher income there than by doing local work in their village. But Miss Channary smiled and said, “I don’t need to migrate outside to earn money because money is around me. I just need a chance and time to catch it.”

Sports and Education

Whether it’s basketball or soccer, boxing or swimming, sport builds character and promotes teamwork. CARE’s Power Within signature program uses the convening power of sport to engage impoverished youth with each other and their communities. Our strategic combination of sports and education not only means more young people are going to school, but they are also learning leadership skills that can open doors to a better way of life.

Girls Empowered

The right to education is fundamental to the attainment and exercise of all human rights. From global movements such as Education for All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to community-level declarations regarding equitable and free education, real and positive change is opening up educational opportunities previously not available to many of today’s children and youth.

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