“I was excited and energised as speakers discussed why investment in education is so important”

Tom Fletcher With Gyas Bamine Charlie Boye And Lea Marich New Version
Bamine Charlie Boye and Lea Marich with Tom Fletcher at the Global Business Coalition event in Washington

Early childhood development, Global Youth Ambassadors, Right to education, The Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Education), What is advocacy?

A Global Youth Ambassador tells how he learned at an advocacy event about the importance of partnerships and investing in early education.

The 2018 Global Business Coalition for Education Breakfast took place on April 19 and was by far one of the best education advocacy gatherings I have ever attended. 

For me it was a great privilege and opportunity to attend as a Global Youth Ambassador because so many of the key members of global education were all together in one room. 
My fellow Global Youth Ambassador Lea Marich and I were there to help organise the event and also to network. The entire event went smoothly and was wonderfully organised – a special shout out to Fiona at Theirworld! 

The event was results-oriented, packed with experts and effective dialogue. 

Despite being very excited and energised I wanted to make sure that I was paying close attention as various speakers discussed why investment in education is so important. 

From the speakers I was able to learn the following – we should pursue partnerships rather than sole responsibility, and investment in early childhood education is the key to success. 

Today companies are heavily focused on fulfilling their corporate social responsibility (CSR) duties. CSR has played critical roles in many countries.

What struck me the most from this event was that companies are being challenged to change their roles in financing education. They are advised to move from a CSR role to a corporate social partnership (CSP). 

It’s very important for companies to be partners rather then financiers because this will help them to be actively involved and fully understand the challenges. Partnerships are a commitment to work together to achieve a goal, not just donate money. 

Speaker after speaker emphasised the need to invest in early childhood education. There’s a huge need for this because preschool stage sets the pace for primary, secondary and college level. 

Brain development between birth and five years old is crucial and it’s during this period that they learn the most. So tapping into that and helping to provide all the support needed for early childhood education is key.

Finally, I was thrilled by the line-up of speakers at the event. However, I was also disappointed because the youth voice was not represented on the panel. 

I do believe that having a youth on the panel is a must because we are able to either share our experience on how education has either helped transformed our lives or the struggles we went through to have an access to education. 

Real stories like this are an effective way to continue to remind people why investment in education is a smart investment. 

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