Education for every single child

We campaign for all children to have access to good-quality basic education, irrespective of their origin, gender or needs. We furthermore believe that the right to education also applies to children in emergency and refugee situations.

One in five children worldwide cannot attend school. Insufficient school infrastructure, conflicts, natural disasters, poverty, gender — these are all factors that make it difficult for children to exercise their right to education.

The immediate and long-term consequences of no education are severe for the children affected. More than that, they present an immense challenge to the stability and development of whole societies.

Education paves the way for individual, social and economic development and teaches children important values such as gender equality, environmental awareness, respect and tolerance towards fellow people etc.

We therefore campaign to enable all children to exercise their right to education, even if they are affected by war, natural disasters, poverty or marginalisation.

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More than 260 million children worldwide do not have access to schooling.

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617 million children worldwide cannot read properly and struggle with numeracy.

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12 % less poverty would be around if all children could read.

Our Vision

It is our vision for every child to benefit from high-quality basic education by 2030.

Education in crisis situations

Every child has a right to education. However, armed conflicts, wars and other humanitarian crises inhibit access to schooling for many. Almost half of all children affected by conflict cannot go to school. If you ask these children what their greatest wish is, they usually answer, “To go to school!”

In crisis situations, education can act as a measure to protect children, it can support them in a sustainable way and even save their lives. Education helps children to experience stability and structures and protects them from danger, because it can teach them about topics such as health, hygiene, nutrition and protection. Moreover, children who go to school are less exposed to the risk of being abused, kidnapped or recruited for armed groups.

With our projects for education in crisis situations, we campaign worldwide for children to receive schooling even during humanitarian crises.

+37 %

of children living in conflict zones has increased since 2010. These children depend on help to gain access to education and opportunities.

Early childhood development

It is during the first few years of their lives that children develop the basic skills they need to succeed at school later on. It is our goal, therefore, to enable all children to realise their full developmental potential.

The first few years in a child’s life are crucial to their development. A child’s experiences during this phase are highly formative and can impact their entire life.

An estimated 250 million children under the age of five are not being appropriately supported in their development. They do not have access to preschool education, and their healthy development is hampered by illness and malnutrition.

At Save the Children, we support public authorities in creating preschool infrastructure, we introduce nursery teachers to playful approaches to teaching, support parents in adopting non-violent parenting skills and in encouraging their children appropriately, and provide access to other important services relating to health, nutrition and protection.

In this way, we can give children, especially those from disadvantaged population groups, the chance to benefit from optimal early childhood development, to acquire the basic skills they will need for school and to achieve equal developmental opportunities.

85% of brain development happens in the first five years of a child’s life. Interventions to promote equal opportunities for disadvantaged children and to improve their educational outcomes in the long term are therefore more effective if they start as early as possible and if they include the children’s entire social environment

Valeria Kunz Head Education Save the Children Switzerland

Early Childhood Development in Urban Informal Settlements and Slums The report highlights the need for a multilevel and multisectoral approach, including the involvement of the local community, the training/capacity building of caregivers, the cost-effectiveness and adaptiveness to local contexts. pdf - 9,13 MB

Projects in education

We help when children need us most

We do everything we can to ensure that the world's most disadvantaged children grow up healthy, learn and are protected. Every donation counts and is used where help is needed most urgently.

Your donation for children in need