What’s the issue?
Poor infrastructure and unsafe environments can directly affect students’ learning skills and overall development. Unfortunately, there are many poorly built schools across the world, which reinforce the belief that the disadvantaged students who attend are less equal members of society.
Students learn best when they feel safe and respected. To facilitate this, classrooms should be empowering spaces which are safe and inclusive places for students to comfortably participate in education. This is a concept appreciated and embodied by all our partners and the schools they run.
- Building learning environments that are “child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, nonviolent, inclusive and effective“ is a sub-target of the United Nations’ sustainable development goal for education. However, it has no specified date included.
- OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) mentions lack of empowering spaces to be the one of the biggest challenges in educational institutions.
- The UNFPA defines a safe space as “a formal or informal place where women and girls feel physically and emotionally safe. The term ‘safe,’ in the present context, refers to the absence of trauma, excessive stress, violence (or fear of violence), or abuse. It is a space where women and girls, being the intended beneficiaries, feel comfortable and enjoy the freedom to express themselves without the fear of judgment or harm.”
Our partners deliver projects wherever possible in places that make women and children feel comfortable, avoid reinforcing unhelpful power dynamics and welcome those with disabilities, babies or other requirements.
This applies to all countries, and is a principle we employ with projects both in the UK and abroad.