As a Save the Children Action Network advocate and retired educator, I’m concerned about the number of children living in conflict zones unable to participate in schooling. Living in Iowa, I can only imagine living in terror because of threats like bullets, bombs, and starvation. Unfortunately, this is the life of one in five children living in conflict zones worldwide. The UN reports that two million children are out of school in war-torn Yemen alone.
Children’s current lives and futures are at-risk when they are exposed to conflict. Schools are being attacked resulting in children’s education being disrupted. Some troops target schools or stage their attacks from schools as a military strategy. This increases the chance that students and teachers are threatened, injured, or killed. Without the safety that schools use to offer, students are deprived of the education they need to grow and develop, and the support that school personnel provide to mitigate traumatic events.
We are living in a time, where the number of verified attacks on schools is among the highest ever recorded. Congress must lead in condemning attacks on schools, holding perpetrators accountable, and taking action to protect and restore education for children living in conflict zones.
I am urging Rep. Abby Finkenauer to co-sponsor a bipartisan resolution, H. Res. 277, to ensure that children living in global conflict zones have access to safe and quality education.
These children are their country’s future!