Doctors Without Borders or Médecins Sans Frontières, are doing a very commendable humanitarian job in war torn areas and conflict zones, on a completely volunteer basis. Of course there are many other NGOs along with UHNHR who are providing refugees shelter, food, medicine, water and all other basic necessities needed for a reasonably dignified human existence.
But when I watch on the news about children in these refugee camps, wasting their precious lives, it is a heart wrenchingly sorry situation for me! It makes me wonder, just like Doctors Without Borders, can’t we have an organization ‘Educators without Borders’? Or may be ‘Teachers without Borders’? Of course I know that there are organizations which are already teaching in the refugee communities, but it seems that these engagements are on a minimal basis, only to keep the children busy and occupied, for short duration during a day.
I suggest that the Educators without Borders should have a well-defined agenda to school young children on a curriculum driven basis, and skill-up young adults for being job worthy (identify the skill sets required to be taught should be on the basis of ‘trades’ available for them in the near future,). These educators should move swiftly into refugee camps, without wasting any time, and start the process of teaching all those interested (if it is made compulsory within a camp, for all persons below the age of 20-22 years, nothing like it!!). It has to be emphasised to one and all that education and acquiring skills, is the only route for betterment of a refugee’s life, and guarantee something other than sadness, politics, drugs, and other negative aspects.
In my earlier blog on “Schools and College of the Future” I had mentioned that to get any education, one needs a computer (with relevant software and hardware) and an internet connection! The Educators without Borders should be equipped with these wherewithals, and implement a required curriculum so that there truly is some hope for the future for the refugees.
To me it seems to be the easiest and the quickest way to get necessary education to a generation in conflict zones, who may miss out, and may be dragged into a life of poverty and despair – education will hopefully lessen the future human cost of a conflict.
Please read an interesting article in NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/07/world/africa/bringing-universities-to-refugee-camps-in-kenya.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
(Aside: Apparently there is an NGO known as Education Without Borders concentrating on education in Southern countries, and is recognized by Spain)