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‘Together for Learning’ - Education for refugee, other forcibly-displaced and host community children and youth

‘Together for Learning’ is an international campaign to promote quality education and lifelong learning for children and youth that are:

  • refugees;
  • forcibly-displaced from their home region, due to violence, natural disasters or other external causes;
  • living in host communities where refugees or displaced people are staying

‘Together for Learning’ promotes partnerships by bringing together:

  • children and youth
  • communities
  • civil society organizations
  • national governments
  • global stakeholders

Together we aim to drive community, national and global change to ensure that all children have access to quality education and that nobody gets left behind.

Canada launched the ‘Together for Learning’ Campaign on February 8th, 2021. It will be a three-year campaign leading up to the second Global Refugee Forum in 2023.

Together for learning

‘Together for Learning’ includes four key areas of work where Canada is driving progress.

Millions of children aren’t developing the essential skills and knowledge.

This campaign aligns with Canada’s existing policies on education.

We challenge Canadians and partners to come together, take action, and create awareness.

Contact the campaign organisers.

Find the latest news and communications products from Global Affairs Canada.

About the campaign

Key areas of work

‘Together for Learning’ includes the following four key areas of work where Canada is driving progress.

Programming excellence

Building on Canada’s leadership through the Charlevoix Education Initiative, Canada will continue to deliver programming to ensure all children and youth, especially girls, have access to quality education.

We will deepen our impact by:

  • sharing lessons learned and best practices drawn from our programming portfolio
  • developing programming tools and guidance to inform future programming
  • taking innovative approaches and working with Canadian civil society and multilateral partners to help deliver Canada’s international development and humanitarian assistance.

Together, these efforts will deepen our impact for refugees, other forcibly-displaced and host community children and youth.

Engaging through diplomacy

Canada will work with country partners, local governments, Canadian civil society, multilateral partners and other education stakeholders to drive forward policy dialogue and advocacy for the education of all children. This includes refugees, other forcibly-displaced and host community children and youth.

Amplifying local voices

Canada will listen and learn from the voices of refugees, other forcibly-displaced and host community children and youth, parents, teachers and community leaders through the following main channels:

  • a Refugee Education Council, created in consultation with Canadian civil society and hosted by World Vision Canada, and made up of youth advocates, community leaders, teachers and parents from developing countries who will ensure that we hear and learn from local voices about their own experiences
  • engagement with the Canadian public, including refugee and diaspora populations within Canada, to amplify their voices.

Building the evidence base

Canada will work with Canadian and international data partners to address the gap in gender-sensitive and disaggregated data and evidence relevant to the children and youth targeted by the campaign.

Background

We are facing a global learning crisis: millions of children aren’t developing the essential skills and knowledge they need to succeed. The situation has been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is threatening hard-won global gains in education. The impacts are especially severe for refugee, other forcibly-displaced and host community children and youth, especially girls. These are the ones who are most at risk of being left behind.

Factors that marginalize people, such as displacement, create significant barriers to education:

  • about 3.7 million refugee children are out of school, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency
  • girls are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school if they live in conflict-affected countries
  • only about 7 refugee girls are enrolled in secondary level education for every 10 refugee boys
  • children in crisis- and conflict-affected areas are 30% less likely to complete primary school and half as likely to complete lower-secondary school

We must act fast. If we do not, many of these children risk never being able to access quality education and lifelong learning.

This is why Canada launched ‘Together for Learning’. The campaign will promote quality education and lifelong learning for refugee, other forcibly-displaced and host community children and youth.

For Canada this means education that is:

  • Equitable: All children, regardless of their background, situation and ability, should have access to the same quality of education.
  • Inclusive: No child or youth can be left behind, especially those most vulnerable, such as children with disabilities, girls and adolescent girls, refugees and internally displaced persons, but also children and youth in host communities. National education systems must include all children, including refugees.
  • Gender-responsive: Learning spaces must be responsive to the specific needs of girls and boys. We must break down the barriers that prevent girls from completing their education.
  • Conflict sensitive: Learning initiatives should not increase tensions or conflict. They should understand the context in which education takes place, including relevant conflict dynamics, and build capacities for peace.
  • Locally driven: Education cannot be one-size-fits-all: every context is different and therefore each requires a tailored approach. National governments must lead education that addresses the needs of communities, including the needs the communities themselves have identified.

Alignment with Canada’s existing policies on education

The ‘Together for Learning’ Campaign:

  • Contributes to the government’s response to COVID-19 and the current global education crisis. It also responds to the commitment in the Minister of International Development’s 2019 mandate letter to “lead an international campaign to ensure that all refugee and displaced children can get the education they need and deserve”. 
  • Responds to Canada’s existing priority on education for girls in conflict and crisis settings, as described in the Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education for Girls, Adolescent Girls and Women in Developing Countries. The declaration was a key outcome of Canada’s 2018 G7 presidency that triggered a total of Can$3.8 billion in pledges including Can$400 million from Canada.
  • Aligns with the need to address the education of the most vulnerable and marginalized, which is a priority within the Human Dignity Action Area of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. This will contribute to better support for equal educational opportunities for women and girls in developing countries. It will also contribute to achieving quality education (Sustainable Development Goal #4).

Get involved

Take part in the #TogetherForLearning social media challenge!

We challenge Canadians and partners to come together, take action, and create awareness about the importance of quality education and learning for refugee, other forcibly-displaced and host community children and youth.

Ideas to get you started:

  1. Highlight the work of an organization led by local refugees and/or forcibly-displaced persons
  2. Celebrate a campaign partner promoting quality education and lifelong learning for children and youth who are refugees, forcibly-displaced or living in host communities
  3. Highlight data and evidence on the education of refugee, other forcibly-displaced, and/or host community children and youth
  4. Share your voice if:
    1. you are/were a child, youth, teacher, or parent refugee, displaced person, or member of a host community
    2. you are part of the refugee/internally displaced person diaspora in Canada, and/or are working with and advocating for these populations

Make sure to tag #TogetherForLearning in your posts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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Upcoming events

Check this space for engagement activities hosted by Global Affairs Canada and partners.

Contact us

For any questions, please contact the Together for Learning team at together-education-ensemble@international.gc.ca.

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