Help to name the new platform for education in emergencies

Children in conflicts, Education funding, Education in emergencies

Iraqi children walk through camp for internally displaced people in Erbil Picture: UNICEF/Anmar


Millions of children are being deprived of an education because of conflicts and disasters. A new platform to help them is about to be launched – and now it needs a name.

A World at School’s supporters and partners have played a key role in persuading leaders that a mechanism to urgently fund education in emergencies is needed.

Now the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF – one of the bodies shepherding the setting-up of the platform – wants to hear your views before picking an official name.

The platform, which will deliver a co-ordinated response and funding where needed, will be launched at the first World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey next month.

Its unofficial title is the “Education Crisis Platform”. Now it needs a name that captures the spirit of the idea and the hope it will deliver to millions of children whose education is disrupted by crises.

UNICEF is running a survey to test opinion on suggested names. You can say why you like or dislike the suggestions and offer your own alternative.

As well as a short and snappy main title, the platform also needs a description sentence – such as “delivering a new platform for education in crises”.

The survey gives 16 options and asks you to rank them in order. Again, you can offer your own suggestion. Take the survey here.

Fijian children play in the library of a school damaged by Cyclone Winston in Ra Province Picture: UNICEF/Sokhin

Ben Hewitt, Director of Campaigns at A World at School, said: “The name of the fund must inspire the big donors to contribute to it and give the public a clear idea of what it is and why it is important.

“More than 10 million have joined the campaign to get every child in school, world leaders are responding and it seems fitting we get a say in what it’s called.”

In a recent article, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown wrote: “As a believer that an education is a child’s best hope in a future worthy of planning, perhaps a fitting name for such an education fund would be HOPE: The Humanitarian Operation for the Provision of Education in Emergencies.”

Morgan Strecker, UNICEF Education Specialist, said: “Given the breadth of the platform’s work, we are trying to find a title that is clear, memorable and compelling – one that helps create awareness and support, something that will distinguish itself from the various other organisations, funds and groups active in this area.

“Overall we need to gather support for the ambition of the fund, both as an investment in children themselves, but also the future prosperity and stability of their countries.”

A World at School’s supporters and partner organisations have ralled in recent months to push for urgent aid aimed at getting children back into school quickly after a crisis.

The #SafeSchools petition – and a call to action from 50 of the world’s leading charities – has emphasised the need for more humanitarian aid to be spent on education.

More than 80 million children have had their education disrupted by conflicts, natural disasters and health crises in the past year – and 37 million of them were forced out of school.

We need to ensure that children caught up in the next conflict or natural disaster are in a safe school and not at risk of child labour, early marriage, trafficking and extremism.

Thank you for your continued support – and please take the survey here.

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