Even today 120 million children around the world do not receive a basic education, and more than half of them are girls. Without the chance to study it is impossible to imagine a future, without adequate quality education there are no opportunities to build a better and more secure life.
The right to an education is even more at risk in countries like Ethiopia, where almost 30 million people live below the poverty line and 30.4% of children under the age of 5 suffer from malnutrition. Too many boys and girls (70%) are obliged to leave education after primary school in order to help their families by working in the fields and because of a lack of the right kind of support.
This is why, for Christmas, ActionAid together with Mondadori, Einaudi, Rizzoli, Piemme, Sperling&Kupfer, Mondadori Electa and Fabbri Editori have come together to face an important challenge: to guarantee the right to education for 1,800 boys and girls in the Raya Azebo of Ethiopia, one of the places in the world where the provision of primary education is most urgent, and an area that is frequently without access to drinking water and adequate sanitation.
“Going to school in Ethiopia and being able to complete studies with quality education is a right that is denied to too many children especially girls. To able to work alongside a partner like Mondadori is to receive the kind of fundamental support that will make it possible to realise the dreams of 1,800 children who have neither classrooms, nor books or materials. Thanks to the contribution of the publishing houses of the Group we will be able to build two new schools, provide electricity, drinking water and sanitation, support teacher training and build awareness in the local community of the importance of educating girls, in one of the poorest regions of the country,” declared Marco De Ponte, Secretary General of ActionAid.
The importance of an education worthy of the name – that is equal, inclusive and accessible to everyone – is an absolute priority for the Mondadori Group: indeed, it is part of a profound sense among the people who work in the company that it is a natural and fundamental element of our traditions and history as a company” declared Enrico Selva Coddè, Chief Executive of the Trade Area of Mondadori Books. “This initiative allows our publishing houses to go further and engage in a concrete and inclusive solidarity project that will benefit one of the areas of the world in which the need is most urgent. Being able to work alongside a partner like ActionAid is a guarantee for us of the seriousness of our joint commitment” concluded Enrico Selva Coddè.
Most of the schools in the Raya Azebo district have wooden frames and mud walls. And due to the lack of separate toilet facilities for boys and girls, it is impossible for girls to go to school during their menstrual cycle. Such frequent absence from lessons consequently leads to poor results and even abandoning school altogether.
With the “Insieme per l’istruzione” (Together for Education) project, ActionAid and the publishing houses of the Mondadori Group will create a safe school environment for 1,800 children, half of them girls, in the primary schools of the Barie Woyane and Hawulti communities. During 2020 two school buildings, each with four classrooms, a library and separate toilet facilities for girls, will be completed. Also teaching materials and classroom furniture will be provided, along with support for girls and initiatives to improve school governance, with the increased involvement of the local communities.
The progress of the project in Ethiopia can be followed on the web site: insiemeperlistruzione.it.
With this initiative, ActionAid and the publishing houses of the Mondadori Group are committed to the shared support of the fourth of the Sustainable Objectives set by the United Nations for 2030.
ActionAid for schools
Over the last year we have ensured and improved access to free, safe and quality education for boys and girls in around 5,000 schools in 25 countries. We have also involved over 400,000 parents, teachers and students in activities aimed at preventing and combatting the early abandonment of school.
The Mondadori Group for education
We are a publishing house with over 100 years of history. Thanks to our strong links with authors and readers we are acutely aware of our responsibilities, also to civil society. There is no doubt that the right to quality education and information is an essential prerequisite for the development and growth of a country. Consequently, the active promotion, in Italy and around the world, of a culture that is accessible to all, is a central part of our mission and one of the principles of the Group’s sustainability policy.
What ActionAid does
ActionAid is an independent international organisation operating in Italy and in 44 other countries. It collaborates with more than 10,000 partners, alliances, NGOs and social movements to combat poverty and social injustice. For over 40 years ActionAid has been working alongside the poorest and most marginalised people and communities, supporting them in the knowledge that it is only through collective efforts in support of solidarity and justice that real social change can be generated. A fair and equal world for all: this is the vision that inspires ActionAid and provides its strength. In order to transform this vision of the world into concrete reality, ActionAid has adopted a specific mission for the next 10 years: to work for the promotion and adoption of democratic participation and to involve people and communities in the protection of their rights, and to collaborate, at a local, national and international level, for the realisation of change and the spread of social equality, improving the quality of democracy and consequently supporting those who live in situations of poverty and marginalisation.