Education is the lifeline to recovery, and it must be protected at all costs, especially from attack.
In 2020, Education Above All launched #UniteToProtect, an ongoing, global campaign in support of the annual International Day to Protect Education from Attack. This campaign serves as a global opportunity to mobilize actors to engage with the protection of education agenda and make good on their promise to ensure access to safe, quality, and equitable education for all.
Now, we must focus on the solutions and act – amplifying our global commitment to all learners. We can only transform education, and build resilient, sustainable, systems if the voices of youth and affected communities are included at all stages. Change can only occur if inclusive, informed and innovative solutions are reached.
In 2020 and 2021, GCPEA identified over 429 reported attacks on schools and interferences to education in Palestine, with both the West Bank and Gaza affected. Decades-long protracted conflict - that has included a land, air and sea blockade of the civilian population of Gaza - has had severe effects on education, with schools, students, educators, and staff often being attacked. Attacks on education in Gaza include damage to schools from explosives and military use of schools.
The art rally was done following a workshop on advocacy. With guidance from six local artists, the mural was painted by 18 Palestinian university students.
Hamada M Elkept, Amal El-Nakhala, Bayan Abu Nahla, Ayman AlHossary (calligraphy artist), Hazem Alzomar, Nabil Abo Ghanima
From 1987 until 2006, conflict between the Ugandan government and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) led to the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, extreme terror and violence, frequent child abductions, and more.
The conflict obstructed access to education through violence, forced displacement into camps, and abduction. Although the conflict ended when a truce was reached in 2006 and reconstruction began thereafter, the region still suffers from low levels of education and a lack of quality education. This poses a challenge to the sustainable development of these conflict-affected communities, and to the reintegration of children who were recruited by armed groups and other victims into society.
We conducted the advocacy workshop and art rally in collaboration with our partner the Whitaker Peace Development Initiative (WPDI). The beneficiaries were a group of 30 youths from conflict-affected communities, 15 from Uganda and 15 from South Sudan. With guidance from Ugandan youth artist Kenneth Mulinde, the youth participants of the workshop painted the mural along with students from a local school and other community members.
About the artist:
Kenneth Mulinde is an Education Above All youth advocate from Uganda. He is the Creative Activism Inspirator at Action Aid International Uganda and the Executive Director of Youth Arts Movement Uganda.
Since the start of the conflict in Ukraine in 2014, education has been under attack. Save the Children reported on 22 June 2022 that at least 1,888 schools have been damaged and destroyed by shelling and bombing since the conflict escalated on 24 February 2022. That is more than double the number of such attacks recorded in eastern Ukraine from 2014 to 2021, when about 750 schools were damaged, destroyed or forced to close. The war has disrupted the education of all 7.5 million children and youth who were living in Ukraine at the beginning of this year.
Poland has provided significant support to Ukrainian refugees. Over 2 Million Ukrainian refugees are currently based in Poland.
This workshop is based on using art as a point of entry to allow these youth to communicate their voices to a global audience. It was co-organized with Positive Education Institute, a partner of Education Above All. With guidance from a local artist, the mural was painted by Polish and Ukrainian students from a high school in Suwalki, Poland.
About the artist:
Marcin Frankowski is a muralist, graphic artist, illustrator, and self-taught artist. He is a wide-ranging artist dealing with poster design, lettering, visualizations and large-format murals. He has painted, along with others, the largest mural in Poland (2000 m2) made in 2021 in Łódź, a mural made for the premiere of Wojtek's "Sokoła" album NIC and cooperation with the exhibition at the 6th-floor theater where he was the author of the visualization accompanying the works of Piotr "Vienia" Więcławski.