Youth who come from areas of violence and war, and hail from different backgrounds and cultures, all share the same goal: access to education at all times, including in times of conflict. EAA learned this through a series of striking art pieces that we curated as part of our Unite to Protect campaign this past year. Our #UniteToProtect Global Youth Rally, which kicked off in June and traveled from Gaza to Uganda, Poland, and then Qatar, where EAA youth created bright colorful murals, including portraits of children, graffiti, and artwork, all with the same message: we have the right to access education; we demand that education is protected from attack.
These works were created during a series of advocacy workshops taught by Education Above All (EAA) Foundation, which equips young people with the skills they need to advocate for the protection of their right to education during conflict. Education is a core component of building long term, sustainable peace following conflict, and this art project is part of EAA’s commitment to mobilizing the youth and ensuring that their voices are heard and amplified through multiple means, including the arts.
The pieces are unique and express the ideas and desires of a diverse group of youth; each piece has its own aesthetic and reflects its specific context. Taken together, the pieces make up one mural through which the youth can speak in one voice that appeals to the audience’s emotions.
Education Above All has a number quotes, photos and videos of participants who created the murals and who, through their art, seek education and a sense of normality, to be able to build a future and healthy communities.
o “If education is unprotected, people will struggle and will not know about their rights. It's kind of sad to live without any opportunities. Therefore, I believe that education is necessary in order to move forward, to know what rights you have, to know what to protect, and how to live. And this is just really important. » Dasha, 16 year old displaced Ukrainian student living in Poland.
o “I really don’t want my kids to undergo the same experience what I under went. (Sic) I really appeal that the world can stop attacks on schools. The world should stop the wars and attacking schools. » - George Otto, community security advocate who was abducted as child by LRA
o “We know how difficult our circumstances are in Gaza, that’s why we need education and why it is crucial to protect it against attacks; to be able to look forward for a sustainable future.” Badri, a recent university graduate whose studies have been disrupted by war
The art is featured at the Sustainable Development Goal pavilion at the FIFA Fan Festival as part of EAA’s Scoring 4 the Goals campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness and call for action to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) , the global agenda to bring a more prosperous and equitable future for all.