Doha, Qatar, 21 November 2019: Addressing threats to education worldwide and supporting disadvantaged children in the wake of conflicts, Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC), a programme of the Education Above All Foundation (EAA) founded by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, marked its tenth anniversary with an evening of celebration featuring distinguished guests, including world renowned artist and SDG Advocate, Forest Whitaker, along with other EAA partners, at the Museum of Islamic Art.
Commenting on the event, Forest Whitaker said, “I am grateful to EAA and P.E.I.C. in particular, for their support and outstanding work on education in conflict. We share the belief that education must be protected from conflict and promoted as an antidote to conflict.”
The evening commenced with the unveiling of a life-sized exchange mural measuring [1.3m (H) x 7m (L)] from the Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement, the world’s second largest refugee settlement. It was created by children and youth during a joint workshop on human rights, right to education, key values and attitudes for sustainable peacebuilding and advocacy through art led by PEIC and Artolution with logistical support from the WINDLE International, UNHCR, and the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda. The workshop engaged with Ugandan, South Sudanese and the Democratic Republic of Congo refugee children and youth to allow them to express and conceptualize their understanding of human rights and experiences with education, peace and daily challenges they face.
The celebration, which coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, also featured remarks from a variety of stakeholders and partners such as youth advocates, government officials, UN agencies, NGOs, academia and legal and education experts. A simultaneous live art performance took place, inspired by each panel discussion around the protection of the right to education, ranging from the importance of strengthening international legal framework to youth empowerment.
Those gathered reflected on a decade of successes and the work still ahead. Deliberate attacks on education have led to ongoing educational insecurity that makes it impossible for children to receive consistent education. While many advocates agree that education is a fundamental human right, it continues to lack universal protection, particularly during conflicts. Elevating the work of PEIC, in particular, which is focused on policy levers and creating more accountability systems through civil society and policymaking, is a critical component in protecting education for all children and communities.
“We look forward to continuing our work, thank our guests and partners for a decade of collaboration,” said Sheikh Mubarak Al-Thani, Head of Global Advocacy, EAA. “It is our objective to continue to grow our partnerships and further our global efforts to secure education for all.”