Minister Oda Announces Aid for Children around the World
Ottawa, Ontario―The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced the Government of Canada's support for 11 projects to give a better future to today's generation of children and youth, the largest ever in history with more than 90 percent living in the developing world. Save the Children Canada CEO, Patricia Erb, and children from Nepean's Knoxdale Public School joined Minister Oda to celebrate the announcement with a lively game of soccer on Parliament Hill.
"Our government believes that education is the strongest tool we can provide to children so they can achieve a brighter future. In developing countries this means well-trained teachers, a safe school environment, and suitable curriculums," stated Minister Oda. "Coupled with good health and the realization of their rights as children, they can grow up and make a positive contribution to the economic well-being of their families and communities."
The Government of Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), is supporting eleven projects: eight improving education, one improving healthcare and education, and two improving children's rights and combating child sex tourism.
To improve education, the Government of Canada will support the work of World University Service of Canada, German Technical Cooperation, Save the Children Netherlands, L'Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, Imagine 1 Day International, Christian Children's Fund of Canada, World Braille Foundation, and Pueblito Canada. These projects include activities in Jordan, Malawi, Mali, Liberia, Lesotho, and Ethiopia.
To improve education and healthcare in Bolivia, Peru, Nicaragua, Kenya and Burkina Faso, Save the Children Canada will improve the protection, education, and care of more than 100,000 children.
In Costa Rica, the Government of Canada will support the International Bureau for Children's Rights (IBCR) to prevent child sex tourism in Costa Rica by strengthening local networks. Canada is supporting a second IBCR project in Jordan.
"Today, healthy, educated children came to Parliament Hill to celebrate their freedoms, but also to make a difference and show they care about the lives of less fortunate children. In Canada we are very blessed," continued Minister Oda. "Our Government is determined to make our foreign aid more effective, to achieve results on the ground. I encourage Canadians of all ages to join us and make a real difference in the lives of children living in developing countries."
Today's announcement provides support for 11 initiatives, totalling approximately $37 million, in 13 developing countries. Canada is helping to create a brighter future, focusing on access to quality education for school-age children, particularly girls. Canada is helping to create a safer future, focusing on programs that reduce violations of children's rights and improve child justice.
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
The Government of Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) identified children and youth as a priority area of focus for Canadian international assistance. Children, particularly girls, are among the most vulnerable persons in developing countries. Youth now represent the largest proportion of the world's population and 90 percent are living in the developing world.
Today's announcement provides support for eleven initiatives, eight improving education, one improving healthcare and education, and two improving children's rights and combating the child sex trade. With Canada's support, children's lives in 13 developing countries will improve by increasing access to quality education for school-age children, especially girls, which is fundamental to breaking the cycle of poverty. Programs that reduce children's rights violations and improve child justice are critical to their future well-being. With less risk of sexual abuse and victimization, children in the developing world can have a future free from fear.
Canada's international assistance aims to achieve concrete results in the lives of people in developing countries to make a lasting impact when our aid is more effective, focused and accountable.
The 11 projects announced today include the following:
Afghanistan Save the Children's Quality Primary Education Project in Kandahar will increase access to education for out-of-school children. This project, jointly supported by Canada and the Netherlands, establishes 100 community-based classes and provides accelerated learning opportunities to more than 2,800 students, half of whom will be female students. This will allow these students to catch up to their age-appropriate grade level and enrol in formal schools. By improving the quality of formal education and ensuring a welcoming learning environment for children through teacher-training initiatives, Canada will continue to make a lasting impact in Afghanistan. ($2.3 million)
Through World University Service of Canada, Canada is supporting a teacher-training project to establish a national system for accrediting and certifying teachers. This project will improve the national standards for Afghan teaching and education training institutions to improve the quality of education in Afghanistan. Teaching standards within the education system will improve, the quality of education delivered nationally will increase, and national standards for teachers will improve. ($10 million)
Africa In central Africa, with the Government of Canada's support, the International Organization of le Francophonie (OIF) will support the Centres de Lectures et d'Animation Culturelle (CLAC) by providing greater access to books and to data-processing equipment. They will also implement distance-learning opportunities to increase human resource specialists in the area of educational technologies. Through our support of distance learning, Canada will help raise literacy rates in rural communities. ($1 million)
In Burkina Faso, Mali, Liberia, and Lesotho, the World Braille Foundation project will establish resource centres to support the teaching of blind and visually impaired girls and boys. This project will ensure equal access to primary education for blind and visually impaired girls and ensure women participate equally as advocates and/or teachers. By facilitating the integration of blind and visually impaired children into mainstream education, the cycle that forces impaired children into lives of poverty can be broken. Canada's support will also strengthen the capacity of the African Union of the Blind (AFUB) to assist its member organizations in effectively negotiating the integration of blind and visually impaired children into mainstream education. ($400,000 over two years)
In Burkina Faso, this Early Childhood Development project, implemented by the Christian Children's Fund of Canada, focuses on the delivery of basic education through an early childhood development approach in 14 rural communities, to improve success rates of children in elementary school, reduce the gender gap in elementary school enrolment, and improve infant and child health. Reaching more than 3,000 children, this project will teach the principles and practices of the Learning Through Play (LTP) early childhood development methodology. The main tool to be used in this process is the Learning Through Play (LTP) Calendar. ($425,000 over three years)
In Ethiopia, literacy rates are low: 42.7 percent overall and 35.1 percent for girls (2003 figures). Canada's support for I1DI will improve the education system and literacy rates in Ethiopia. A three-year project, implemented by Imagine 1 Day International and its local partner organizations, will improve access, quality, and efficiency of schooling in 58 selected primary schools in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia. It will directly benefit 28,497 children, 464 teachers, 58 school principals, 292 Parent Teacher Association members, and 400 households. ($500,000 over three years)
Literacy rates in Malawi are 62.7 percent but only 49.8 percent for girls (2003 figures). This project, administered by German Technical Cooperation, working with the Department of Teacher Education and Development (DTED) in Malawi, will establish a support system for student teachers during the practicum year of the two-year teacher-training program. This will ensure a more complete educational experience and improve the skills and competencies of 16,800 new primary school teachers. Gender-sensitive training will be provided to mentors, head teachers, primary education advisors, and college lecturers to support student teachers in the classroom. Project activities will facilitate opportunities for continuous professional education and development. ($6.2 million over four years)
Bolivia, Peru, Nicaragua, Burkina Faso, Kenya Through Save the Children Canada's project in Bolivia, Peru, Nicaragua, Burkina Faso and Kenya (Securing Children's Rights to Protection, Education, and Survival) the Government of Canada will support a project to enable marginalized girls and boys to survive, become healthy, educated, and productive citizens, and improve opportunities for working youth through relevant knowledge and marketable skills. These marginalized children include indigenous children in mountainous areas of Bolivia and Peru, working children on the streets of Peru, Nicaragua, Burkina Faso, and Kenya, children at risk of HIV/AIDS in Burkina Faso and Kenya, and newborn and under five-year olds in Burkina Faso. By providing the necessary education and healthcare, Canada will make a lasting impact on over 100,000 children and youth. ($15 million over five years)
American In Costa Rica, over the course of two years, the International Bureau for Children's Rights (IBCR) and its local partner, Fundacion Paniamor, will reduce the incidence of child sex tourism (CST). This project will focus on building the capacity of local networks to prevent CST, provide training and alternatives for young people who are vulnerable to CST, and enhance understanding of the issue among law enforcement representatives and the tourism industry (information and formal), while raising awareness among Canadian travel agencies and travelers about CST. ($250,000 over two years)
Nicaragua's impoverished southern Atlantic autonomous region suffers from poor school attendance and high dropout rates. Through Pueblito Canada, this project will improve the quality of public education for indigenous and Afro-descendent children, including young girls, in the municipality of Pearl Lagoon in Nicaragua's impoverished southern Atlantic autonomous region. The program will increase rates of school attendance and school-year completion, and decrease rates of grade repetition among children in grades one and two. Key project activities include teacher training, provision of quality teaching guides, textbooks, workbooks, learning aids and other materials, and education for parents. ($224,000 over three years)
Jordan Within the project, Making Children's Rights a Reality in the Jordanian Judicial Context, the International Bureau for Children's Rights (IBCR) and the local partner, Mizan, will reduce violations of children's rights in Jordan through specialized training on juvenile justice, child rights, child sex tourism, and child trafficking. This project will result in a comprehensive model for interventions in supporting children's rights, supported by a cadre of trainers. ($500,000 over two years)
The projects in today's announcement total approximately $37 million.