As many children celebrated World Book Day yesterday, we want to address the importance of education in the developing world. The sad reality of visiting a developing country is that you will encounter begging children in the streets. Many travellers are unsure of how to respond. Out of guilt, many will give them money thinking that they are helping them and their family keep alive. When in fact, giving the street children money is contributing to locking them in the situation they are in. Indeed, the majority of the children are send out to beg. And if they come back with money, then they are pushed to beg more. This situation prevents them from going to school, puts them at risk when working the streets, and keeps on feeding the cycle of poverty.
The fact is that all children should have the right to access free primary education regardless of their economic standing. Yet, nearly 68 million children are out of school. Overall illiteracy is a growing concern, with 775 million adults lacking minimum literacy skills. Education in developing countries is a challenge due to lack of funding resulting in overcrowded classes, lack of trained school teachers and exclusion of children with disabilities.
So, if you want the children in the developing world to remain children, we recommend you think of alternatives other than giving them money. Some options are balloons, stickers, pens, paper or even fruits.
Another great way to contribute to these children’s education is to volunteer in one of our programs and be a role model for them. At Kaya, we have many placements focusing on education. So if you feel the compelling need to get involved in third world education and help children get out of the poverty, join one of our educational volunteer programs. You will be able to inspire them through games, reading and art. We offer many placements from special needs education to child education projects.
Once you have volunteered with us, use your volunteering experience to spread the word, and encourage others to volunteers and join in those very valuable programs.
If you need help decide which programs is right for you, please contact one of our placement advisor who will be able to assist.