The official launch of the “Every child. Everywhere. In school.” campaign at this week’s General Conference Annual Council meetings has been welcomed by Greg Young, director of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) for the South Pacific Division.
“It was exciting and encouraging to see our Church leaders from around the world supporting the campaign by signing the petition,” Mr Young said.
The aim is to get 1 million signatures by the 2020 GC session. The petition calls on world leaders to commit to ensuring all children, adolescents and youth have access to free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education.
Mr Young said the joint ADRA/Church campaign is so important when the statistics on childhood education are taken into account.
“Almost one in five children worldwide are out of school,” he said. “Refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than non-refugee children. On top of that, 25 million primary school age children have never attended school, and probably never will if current trends continue.”
The data also shows that girls who complete secondary education are less likely to be married at an early age or to be young and pregnant.
“When you consider statistics like these, it’s not a case of asking ourselves why we should get involved, we should be asking ourselves why we wouldn’t get involved,” Mr Young said.
To sign the petition, go to www.inschool.adra.org/petition.