Happy International Day of Education!
The purpose of recognizing education with an international day is to not only encourage a community of academics, but demand that every individual have rights to it. Whether it be for advanced placement, fine arts, culinary, special education, medicine, or law, education should be a feasible option everywhere. As a college student, I understand that education is both a right and a privilege in our world today, and I do believe that every student should be able to attend for a much more affordable price than what it ranges today. Looking outside of the American education system and into third-world systems, I also know that the struggle for certified and decent education alone is a recurring issue as well. So in honor of the International Day of Education, I am here to kindly educate you on what the future means for unprivileged students around the world, and how you can help!
Education in Palestine
As the United Nations observes for this day for the world, let’s talk about education in Palestine. We know that the living conditions in Palestine, especially in the Gaza strip, are damaged, dangerous, and in a constant state of being destroyed. Students around the world look forward to attending school and returning after a happy summer, but the children of Gaza can’t rely on those same expectations. There are several factors that interfere with the critical access to all types of educational institutions - including the uncertainty of their safety on a day-to-day basis, the lack of public transportation, and the rates of poverty that prevent families from buying quality materials for school.
From my own personal experience of visiting Palestine over the years, I have noticed firsthand how undeveloped local schools are. Most schools do not have clean water, heat or air conditioning, and can not provide tangible resources for their students like technology or books. Schools in Palestine do not have a PFE, annual fundraising, or any donors other than the government.
- As of November 2021, poverty lives within 59% of homes in Gaza (WorldBank)).
- Half a million children in Palestine also require humanitarian assistance to access quality education (OCHA).
- The highest dropout rates are seen at the secondary school level” (rates are slightly lower in the Gaza Strip, due to the role of NGOs, CSOs, and funding education service projects) (UNDP).
- Due to the attacks in 2014, the damage of 547 schools significantly impacted 475,000 students in the Gaza Strip (The Borgen Project).
PaliRoots Funding Projects
How does PaliRoots help? How can you help too? PaliRoots has developed unique funding project to concentrate on the development of the people of Gaza. One of the many projects supports and funds children’s education in Palestine. Since 2016, the PaliRoots mission has been to empower and guide the children of Palestine and our experiences in doing so have been the most memorable. Supported by ZamZam Water and MECA, the first annual *Gaza Backpack Project* in 2017 donated over 1,500 backpacks and hygiene kits to children of Gaza. In 2018, we continued the Backpack Project by partnering with MECA again to donate nearly $4000 and pledged to also donate 20% of our net profits to MECA. And for the third and most recent *Gaza Backpack Project*, we received the most support!
Thanks to all of YOUR help, our PaliRooters, we were able to successfully donate 6,133 backpacks and school supplies to students in Palestine this past year - from pre-school until ninth grade this past year! That means a total of $100,000 donated! In the backpack bundles we’ve included supplies like notebooks, erasers, sketchbooks, colored pencils, and much more. With these donations, we’ve received incredible feedback on increasing attendance and academic performance amongst the youth in Gaza. Without our wonderful partners at the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) and Zamzam Water, and all of you, we would not have been able to do it - and we sincerely thank you.
We believe that education is the biggest tool for the future generations of Palestinians to come. With an accessible, motivating, and great education, the youth of Palestine can continue to know and fight for their human rights on the grounds of their roots.
♥️ To see further diverse progress of all 21 PaliRoots funding projects, check out this link: PaliRoots Funding Projects
♥️ To support underprivileged students and families in Palestine, you can donate here: PaliRoots Meal Program
About the Author: Layan Beirat is a Chicago based blogger whose Paliroots are found in both Kufer Malik and Beit Safafa, Palestine!