Founded in 1968, Concern Worldwide is an international, non-governmental humanitarian organization dedicated to the reduction of suffering and working towards the ultimate elimination of extreme poverty, with more than 3,200 workers in 25 countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Middle East. Concern Worldwide targets the root causes of extreme poverty through programs in health and nutrition, education, livelihoods, WASH, emergencies, gender equality, climate and environment.
For over 40 years, Concern has been working in Education to improve the lives of vulnerable children and adolescents and those living in extreme poverty in a sustainable way by increasing access to quality primary education and supporting child wellbeing. In 2022, Concern has education programs in 10 countries, which benefited over 2 million people in 2021, including children, school personnel, community and family members. We work across both development and humanitarian contexts and where possible in partnership with Ministries of Education, to strengthen existing systems and influence lasting change at national, district and school community levels. Our education programs focus on three objectives:
1. Improving access to education: We emphasize reaching the most vulnerable children and adolescents who have been excluded from education. We consider the barriers to education access and act on those with integrated multi-sectoral responses. We aim to support education systems to monitor and improve Time-on-Task (student attendance, teacher attendance and hours of curricular instruction) and build capacity of community-school management mechanism to improve awareness and access to education for girls, children living in conditions of extreme poverty and those affected by crisis.
2. Improving quality of education: We recognize that teachers are the most important resource for improving learning. Concern supports teacher training and in-classroom coaching for continuous teacher professional development to ensure that all children have the best opportunities for learning. We focus on foundational literacy and numeracy in formal and non-formal settings and provide technical support to the Ministry of Education to ensure system strengthening whenever possible.
3. Promoting child well-being: We support child and adolescent wellbeing to ensure healthy development and effective learning and aim to improve the capacity of education systems and communities to prevent and effectively respond to violence, including school related gender-based violence. Prevention and response mechanisms are embedded in all program activities ensuring Protection is mainstreamed throughout the interventions. We also support children, their caregivers and community to ensure they build skills to protect themselves through Psychosocial Support and Social and Emotional Learning.
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A boy during mathematic lesson, Primary School Tcharraw, Sila Province, Chad November 2021. Photo Credit: Pierre Maget/Concern Worldwide