Opportunity in Education

World and Book

Image Source: Villanova University Office of Education Abroad

As a student who has loved school and learning from a very young age, it was always difficult for me to fathom why someone would hate school. It seemed so sad to me – school is the best! However, starting in high school and continuing through college, I began to gain awareness of the challenges that face students and schools within many, many communities across the United States and the world. I began to find out the reasons why someone might not like school, and why some schools are not always able to provide the quality of education that all students deserve.

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights includes access to education as a listed human right. Although students in the United States do have access to public education, not all students have access to the same quality of education. Many districts lack funding for the support that students need to achieve at their highest level, not to mention other challenges many students face outside the classroom. My hope is to help recognize and take down some of the barriers that inhibit children in our country from accessing quality education, a fundamental human right.

In preparation for graduate work in education policy, working with New Global Citizens has helped me expand my understanding of how we can best serve our students. I hope that all students will someday be able to connect with people and cultures throughout the world, and work together towards solutions to improve our world. Empowering them to do that is my goal and path.

This post was written by NGC Team Mentor Merry Farrier.

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Merry’s Holiday Reflection

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As I head home for the holidays this year, I’m eager for some amazing home cooking as part of my family’s holiday traditions.  I love food – it’s a part of my culture, and always the center of celebrations that bring my family together.  But as I continue through this season of celebration and abundance, it is important for me to remember and reflect on the fact that in the current state of our world, food is a privilege.

Food security happens when a household has access at all times to an adequate amount of nutritious food, or food that will allow them to live a full and healthy life.  For about one seventh of the world’s population, fear of hunger, starvation, or threat of malnutrition is an ongoing reality.  These people, an estimated 1 billion worldwide, are food-insecure.

Because children, especially young children, are at vital stages of growth and development, they are at higher risk of negative effects from hunger.  Children, who are malnourished, malnutrition meaning they do not get enough of the essential nutritional elements necessary for human health, are not able to develop and are more susceptible to diseases.  Each year, 2.6 million children die as a result of hunger-related causes.  Although overall the amount of people who are affected by hunger has gone down in the world, in certain regions including Africa, hunger has become more rampant.

There are many factors that allow hunger and malnutrition to persist in out world, but improved access to critical public services such as health clinics, and water and sanitation facilities, as well as increased support care for women and children would be a big step.  The United States also still has a huge population that is affected by hunger, about 14.5 percent of households, so remembering that this problem affects our local and international communities is also important.  There are many organizations, including some of NGC’s incredible partners, who fight hunger nation and worldwide as members of a global community working towards food security for all.

This post was written by NGC Team Mentor Merry Farrier.