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Education Above All (EAA) foundation partnership with UNICEF to enrol more than a quarter of a million Somali children into primary education

The announcement builds on previous successful EAA-UNICEF partnership in Somalia to reach the country’s most marginalized children


Photos supplied by UNICEF Somalia for the 10 million event in Apr 2018
A young girl smiles as she looks back at her teacher for help answering a question during class at her UNICEF-supported primary school, Salaama in Galkayo, Somalia, Wednesday, April 12, 2017.

The global education foundation, Education Above All (EAA), signed a partnership agreement with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to enrol more than a quarter of a million Somali children in primary education on Sunday. Somalia’s State Minister of Education, Culture and Higher Education, His Excellency Abdurahman Mohamud Abdulle pledgedsupport to ensure access to quality primary education for 300,000 additional out of school children (OSSC) in the country. MinisterHaji attended the signing, which took place at the 20th edition of the Doha Forum, where world leaders, policy makers and thinkersconvened to discuss this year’s theme “Transforming for a New Era.”

“The education of Somali children and youth is a key priority for our government. We look forward to working closely with EAA and its partners to enrol out of school children into education,” explained Somalia’s State Minister of Education, Culture and Higher Education, His Excellency Abdurahman Mohamud Abdulle. “With this ground-breaking project, we aim to provide quality education tostudents and thereby avoid even more generations missing out on learning or be deprived of this fundamental right.”

 Three in five of Somalia’s children and school-aged youth are out of school. EAA and UNICEF will focus on the most marginalised children, including those displaced, those affected by violent conflict or climate-related disasters, children with disabilities, and children from nomadic populations. This latest partnership is part of EAA’s innovative strategy of working through localised andpartner-led models to target the hardest to reach OOSC at the primary level. It follows the successful EAA-UNICEF project launched in 2014, which enrolled 65,755 children in Somalia, exceeding its original goal of reaching 64,000 OOSC.

Photos supplied by UNICEF Somalia for the 10 million event in Apr 2018
A student laughs as he writes the answers to questions on the chalkboard of his classroom in the UNICEF-supported Salaama primary school in Galkayo, Somalia, Wednesday 12 April 2017.

“It is heart-warming to be able to support another project that enables young Somalis to get a chance to start their education as thebasis for a better future. Our collaboration with partners in Somalia is almost a decade long and it demonstrates our sharedcommitment to educating OSSC in the country, regardless of the challenges they face,” said Dr Mary-Joy Pigozzi, Executive Director ofEAA’s Educate A Child programme.

This latest initiative will be rolled out through the UNICEF-run “Strengthening Educational Pathways for Out of School Children” over a four-year period. It will work to bring OOSC back into the fold of quality, primary education by increasing school infrastructure, improving education quality, and focusing on girls’ access to school, and will improve data collection and analysis on out of schoolchildren in the country.

“Decades of insecurity and humanitarian crises have had a negative impact on access to education for all children in Somalia, resulting in low school enrolment and attendance,” said UNICEF Representative in Somalia Angela Kearney. “By working inpartnership with the Education Above All Foundation, we

will not only enrol additional children in school but give them the opportunity to reach as far as their talents and aspirations can takethem.”

The announcement is the latest initiative in EAA’s wider mission to help children access education globally; it comes off the back of the foundation’s already remarkable achievement, alongside partners, of enrolling over 10.7 million of the hardest to reach out of school children around the world. While education is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations, many countries have still not reached universal primary education. As it stands, more than 59 million primary-aged childrenare out of school worldwide.



Carly Walsh

Media Specialist Education Above All


About the Education Above All (EAA) Foundation

The Education Above All (EAA) Foundation is a global foundation established in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.EAA aims to transform lives through education. We believe that education is the single most effective means of reducing poverty, creating peaceful and just societies, unlocking the full potential of every child and youth, and creating the right conditions to achievethe Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Through our multi-sectoral approach, unique financing models, focus on innovation as a tool for social good, and partnerships, we aim to bringing hope and real opportunities to the lives of impoverished and marginalised boys and girls.

EAA is comprised of four programmes and sections: Educate A Child (EAC), Al Fakhoora, Reach

Out To Asia (ROTA), Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC), and Innovation Development (ID).



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