EAA and Fundación Pies Descalzos—Barefoot Foundation Broaden Support for OOSC in Latin America
The recent World Innovation Summit on Education (WISE), hosted by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, founder and chairperson of the Education Above All Foundation (EAA), gathered luminaries and education leaders from around the world, including global entertainer and philanthropist Shakira Mebarak. Shakira, founder of the Fundación Pies Descalzos (FPD)—Barefoot Foundation, who delivered a plenary keynote address, also joined EAA in signing a new partnership agreement with Educate A Child (EAC), a programme of EAA. The new agreement will provide much needed educational resources to students across Shakira’s native Colombia.
The Colombian territories of Barranquilla, Cartagena, Choco, Medellin and the border territories with Venezuela will be prioritized, deepening EAC’s presence in Latin America. Signed by EAA CEO Fahad Al Sulaiti and Patricia Sierra, Program Director, FPD, the agreement will focus on out of school (OOSC) and at-risk children. Activities in the three-year agreement which includes annual milestones, will officially begin in January 2020.
Support for the enrollment of 34,000 OOSC and 20,000 children at-risk of dropping out will be the primary aim of the work. A variety of approaches will be employed, including working to build and strengthen the capacity of regional governments—especially local secretaries of education of the five territories. Public outreach, including door knocking enrolment and national media campaigns, will be deployed to engage local communities, particularly parents and students. Additionally, school kits, distribution of uniforms, school feeding and transportation are also planned.
Teacher training will be another aspect of the partnership. An emphasis on the best ways to provide psychological support for at-risk children will be an important component of that training. After-school academic support, as well as new construction are also planned. The construction will take place in four regions and include 127 new classrooms for existing schools; 100 classrooms in four new schools will be equipped with state-of-the-art advanced technology, libraries, sports facilities, as well as kitchen and dining halls.
WISE, which is hosted bi-annually, enables EAA to leverage a global platform to identify, study and celebrate many innovative approaches that can be applied in education. EAA brings this spirit of innovation to life by finding new ways to fulfill its mission to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for vulnerable and marginalised people, especially in the developing world, as an enabler of human development.