Press Release – Global Charity Theirworld Receives €4.5 Million (£3.87m) from the Dutch Postcode Lottery to Invest in Education for Children in Emergencies (March 5, 2019)

A special award allows Theirworld to join forces with the Education Cannot Wait fund in a “next-generation” partnership to deliver education to thousands of young children in war zones and disaster areas Theirworld will be first charity donor to a major global education fund Rapid emergency assistance to be deployed to support refugee and displaced children Theirworld’s grant will match contributions by other private donors to multiply impact 

  • A special award allows Theirworld to join forces with the Education Cannot Wait fund in a “next-generation” partnership to deliver education to thousands of young children in war zones and disaster areas  

  • Theirworld will be first charity donor to a major global education fund

  • Rapid emergency assistance to be deployed to support refugee and displaced children 

  • Theirworld’s grant will match contributions by other private donors to multiply impact

The Dutch Postcode Lottery (Nationale Postcode Loterij) has announced a new series of grants to the global children’s charity Theirworld to bring education to thousands of children around the world impacted by conflict and disaster. The €4,500,000 (£3.87m) award was announced at the annual Goed Geld Gala in Amsterdam on Monday evening in Amsterdam. Included in the total was a special award of €3,150,000 (£2.7m) which will launch a unique public-private partnership between Theirworld and Education Cannot Wait, the global education fund for children impacted by emergencies.  

 As part of the award, Theirworld will redouble its effort to unleash the potential of the next generation of children caught up in wars and conflict through increased campaigning and innovation projects focused on breaking down barriers that stand in the way of education. As the first charity funding partner of a major global education fund, Theirworld will direct €2,520,000 (£1.93m) to direct programming through a contribution to the Education Cannot Wait fund.   

“We are more impactful by working together, and the award by the Dutch Postcode Lottery will allow us to not only deliver education to the most marginalised children, but leverage-up the funding through campaigning to have a multiplier effect for children,” said Sarah Brown, Chair of Theirworld.  

“The funding will be used to provide rapid education assistance in places where it is needed most” said Justin van Fleet, Theirworld’s President.  “This new partnership will allow us to support thousands of children living in refugee camps who are not in school – where we need to provide education quickly so they are not part of the lost generation – while we also finding the longer-term solutions so all children can reach their full potential.” 

After years of campaigning, led by Theirworld’s cohort of 1,000 Global Youth Ambassadors and coalition of over 40 civil society organisations, the Education Cannot Wait fund was established in 2016 at the World Humanitarian Summit to provide education to the 75 million children worldwide who have lost out on education because of war, disasters and crisis.  

“While food, water and shelter were rightly prioritised, education was not seen as life-saving until Education Cannot Wait was set up, making education part of the emergency response” said Sarah Brown. “Now that we have this fund, Theirworld is making a significant investment on behalf of our youth campaigners, thanks to the Dutch Postcode Lottery.” 

Part of Education Cannot Wait’s strategy has been to bring together private partners, including foundations and companies, to invest in new ways of working to deliver education to refugees and displaced children.  Theirworld joins other contributions by business partners through the Global Business Coalition for Education and Dubai Cares, a major global education philanthropy organisation.  Some of Theirworld’s funding will be placed in challenge grants to be matched by other private contributors to multiply the impact.  

“Education needs to be this generation’s moonshot and this funding from the Postcode Lottery will allow us to mobilise enough people, partners and resources so that every refugee child is at school” said van Fleet.  “We will look for the hardest to reach children in emergencies and keep a watching brief on all hotspots where children’s education is at risk – from the Greek Aegean Islands, Venezuela and Syria to the Central African Republic and beyond.” 

Education was a theme of this year’s annual charity event, which was headlined by United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown who praised the innovation of the Dutch Postcode Lottery in making this award. “Working together, there can be no ceiling on our aspirations for – and ambitions of – the world’s children, and no limit to what together we can and will achieve,” Brown said. 

Yasmine Sherif, the Director of Education Cannot Wait said, “We are profoundly grateful to Theirworld for making this contribution to Education Cannot Wait, and to the Dutch Postcode Lottery for making this possible.  It is thanks to the voices of young people across the world that education is becoming a global priority for all of humanity – regardless of borders.  We will now move quickly to ensure we deliver education to refugee and displaced children with our new partner, Theirworld.” 


Notes to Editors 

Theirworld is a global charity which unleashes the potential of the next generation.  Every child deserves the best start in life, a safe school to learn in, and skills for the future.  We analyse complex systems to identify the barriers to progress and then use our tools of campaigning, innovation projects and partnership building to unlock the innovation, finance, political will and inclusion necessary to create change from the top down and bottom up. 
The Global Business Coalition for Education, an initiative of Theirworld,  serves as the business community’s social impact advisor, combining the expertise of education and business to develop customised programs and identify investments, partnerships, and opportunities that will have the greatest impact for children and youth. 

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies. It was launched by international humanitarian and development aid actors, along with public and private donors, to address the urgent education needs of 75 million children and youth in conflict and crisis settings. ECW’s investment modalities are designed to usher in a more collaborative approach among actors on the ground, ensuring relief and development organizations join forces to achieve education outcomes. Education Cannot Wait is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure. For more information: 

The Nationale Postcode Loterij (The Dutch Postcode Lottery) is the biggest charity lottery in the Netherlands. Since the start in 1989, the Dutch Postcode Lottery has contributed over 5.5 billion euros to charity organisations dedicated to ‘people’ and ‘planet’. It now supports 112 charities worldwide and plays a pioneering role in the quest for a fair and enterprising, green and responsible world. 

For information, please contact:  

Laura Weeks 
Communications Coordinator, Theirworld 
T: +44 (0) 207 596 2817
[email protected]