Around the world, schools are struggling.
Many classrooms are overcrowded. Others are left empty because there is no money to pay teachers. What isn’t lacking, however, are eager students who want, and deserve, an education.
In 2000, world leaders gathered at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration. This resolution committed each nation to a new global partnership with a series of targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). With a deadline in 2015, the targets address themes of poverty, health, environmental sustainability, economic development, and universal primary education. While much progress has been made towards this last end, 57 million children of primary age are still out of school. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) estimates that 6.8 million teachers are required to provide a full course of primary schooling for each boy and girl in need. Even more teachers are needed to provide broader access to secondary and higher education.
These statistics are staggering.
For countries with minimal financial resources, it becomes even harder to bridge the gap. However, we can start, one teacher at a time, to fill these needs. We envision a world where all children, regardless of the wealth or poverty of their families, communities, or nations, have the opportunity for a quality education.
Furthermore, with an increasingly interdependent world, we believe in the power and value of developing cultural sensitivity, empathy, and understanding. Time spent in a foreign culture opens our eyes to the realities of neighbors’ lives and changes the way we view our own. In an age of trade agreements and shrinking economic markets, we envision an interconnected world where globalization means more than economic trade between countries. It means that people across the globe better understand and personally care about each other.
The world needs wider access to education and more compassionate global citizens.
We hope that you’ll join us in our work towards meeting these needs.