- April 17, 2019
- Posted by: Lerato GCE
- Category: Members, News, Uncategorized
Last month one of the worst tropical cyclones on record made landfall on the Southern African countries of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, and wrecked havoc leaving 1000 people dead and many more missing. A major humanitarian crisis unfolded in the wake of the cyclone. Victims are still struggling to pick up the pieces from what has remained of their homes and other personal belongings, in addition to health concerns such as a cholera outbreak that has recently been reported and the general lack of access to health services, as well as food insecurity plaguing many.
In Mozambique 263,000 children out-of-school and over 3,300 classrooms are have been destroyed. In Zimbabwe, almost 150 schools have been impacted, affecting an estimated 60,000 children. In Malawi, an estimated 200 schools have been negatively impacted by this disaster.
A number of civil society actors, including local and international NGOs, the UN, and other foreign governments are joining efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Cyclone IDAI victims. However, as UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed recently announced at a UN Special Meeting on Cyclone IDAI at the UN HQ on April 2nd, international response is still underfunded. By April 11th Education Cannot Wait and Partners allocated US$14 million to help restore education services for an estimated total of 500,000 children and youth.
At the country-level, GCE member coalitions in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi have been supporting humanitarian efforts in their own way, particularly addressing education-specific needs such as rebuilding of schools, collecting of school materials for pupils and teachers, as well as general resource mobilisation of funds.
The Mozambique coalition Movimento de Educação Para Todos (MEPT) is leading a campaign to support the Mozambique Ministry of Education and Human Development (MINEDH) with the gathering of student supplies (including notebooks, pencils/pens, rulers, sharpeners and bags) for children and youth who reside in the provinces of Sofala, Manica, and Zambezia. The coalition has mobilised its members to engage in this cause by donating school materials through direct liaison with MEPT focal points at the provincial level, and for focal points in turn to engage with provincial education services. See below the poster shared by the coalition (in Portuguese) which includes information on national collection points for receiving school materials.
The coalition’s campaign is part of broader initiatives developed through a humanitarian aid group set up for Cyclone IDAI victims, which includes UNICEF and Save the Children as key partners. The group meets every Monday to define concrete actions to be taken during this emergency period. Among the types of support needed, provision of basic school, teacher, and classroom materials have been requested, as well as assistance with re-building schools through the use of construction material resilient to natural disasters. Additionally, MEPT is also involved with other groups, such as the solidarity group of CSOs in Mozambique, called “SOS IDAI Sociedade Civil”, which focus is on securing material and financial resources to support victims. The coalition also participates in the Local Education Group that is developing a process for resource mobilisation at various levels, and in the education cluster created by the Ministry of Education where they provide support in collecting information on the number of destroyed schools and students who are currently out of school.
Meeting of SOS IDAI Sociedade Civil to discuss next steps to support Cyclone IDAI victims.
Within Zimbabwe, the Education Coalition of Zimbabwe (ECOZI) has managed to mobilise some materials to support the victims. The coalition requests its members and other partners to donate a book and a pen as a way to collect learning materials to support the affected students and schools. They also accept any cash contributions. The address of the drop-off point for donations is the following: 95 Park Lane, Kenyan Embassy building, Second Floor- North Wing, Harare.
Furthermore, within Zimbabwe, a multi-stakeholder assessment is being conducted to ascertain the magnitude of the damage caused by the cyclone. The national education cluster, coordinated by Save the Children and which will include ECOZI going forward, launched an appeal for funding that resulted in $1 million from Education Cannot Wait.
In Malawi, the coalition Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) has engaged in the following interventions: 1) Upscaling of school-feeding programmes in affected areas as well as looking into sanitation issues; 2) Provision of temporary shelters (tents) to serve as classrooms as some of the classrooms currently provide refuge to the affected people; 3) There are also assessments on the impact of floods on education vis-a-vis the cost implications for reconstruction exercise. Additionally, the coalition has been engaging the media and government to find lasting solutions to the problem of accommodation for flood victims who currently are being housed in school classrooms. CSEC’s call has been to use the existing classrooms as a temporary measure, but that in the long term, the government needs to put up permanent structures and facilities in higher ground, which during off floods season can be used for other activities.
*The GCE Secretariat would also like to express its solidarity with the victims of the cyclone, and calls on its members to support humanitarian aid efforts either at local or international levels. Conflict and disaster are increasingly significant determinant of educational outcomes. For the Global Action Week for Education 2019 (#GAWE2019) and inline with our strategic focus GCE promotes the right to education for people who in the context of climate change-related emergencies struggle to enjoy their right to education. It includes children and youths whose education were interrupted because of the destruction of education facilities and those who have been out of school in situations where the reconstruction of education facilities has been either ineffective or simply unplanned.