29 January 2024– The Students And Youths Working on reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT), a lead in the Girls Education Advocacy in the Region (GEAR) Alliance which advocates for quality and equitable education in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia joins the international community in commemorating the International Day of Education observed each year on the 24th of January.

This annual observance reaffirms our commitment to promoting inclusive and quality education for all, with a special focus on girls in rural and farming communities. This year’s theme, “Learning for Lasting Peace” holds significant importance as we focus on empowering learners and equipping them with the values, attitudes, skills, and behaviours necessary to foster peace within themselves and their communities.

Young people living in rural and farming communities face unique challenges that hinder their access to education and contribution to lasting peace. These challenges include limited infrastructure, long distances to schools, cultural norms, gender-based discrimination, early marriages, and household responsibilities.

As we commemorate the International Day of Education, we call upon the governments to invest in infrastructure developments and renovation of schools in rural areas and farming communities ensuring schools are equipped with adequate facilities including classrooms, libraries, and sanitation services. Safe transportation systems should also be established to enable children to travel to and from school without fear. Teachers must be capacitated in the unique needs of girls in marginalized communities.

SAYWHAT appeals to the private organizations and individuals to invest in education scholarships and financial aids targeted at girls in rural and farming communities. Fees, uniforms, textbooks make education more accessible to the marginalized girls. Collaborative efforts will help implement sustainable solutions, share best practices, and scale up successful initiatives.

SAYWHAT remain committed in promoting lasting peace among girls in rural and farming communities through education. We will continue working closely with local partners in the region to implement targeted programs that address the barriers faced by girls, empowering them to reach their full potential and contribute to the development of their communities. We call upon communities and other civil society organizations to join us in addressing cultural barriers, gender-based discrimination and stereotypes that limits girls access to education.

On this International Day of Education, let us strengthen our resolve to ensure that no girl in rural and farming communities in Zimbabwe is left behind. By investing in their education, we invest in a peaceful region, where every girl can thrive and contribute to the nation’s progress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *