I left my first posting at UNICEF Kenya just as the Schools for Africa initiative was launching. I moved to UNICEF India and then to UNICEF Mozambique, leaving my post there in 2014. As such, I have seen the “ before” and “after” of the campaign myself – the initial drive to get all children into school, the increased focus on improving the quality of learning once they’re actually there, and making sure all of them are treated equally, whether girl, boy or a child living with a disability. This has required tremendous work on the part of teachers, government officials, UNICEF staff and other partners, not least the communities and children themselves.
But the progress achieved is also in no small part due to those who have helped fund the Schools for Africa initiative. I’m particularly glad that some of the key people who have played a role in the success of the initiative—IKEA co-workers—will see first-hand the impact of their work over the coming few weeks.