Aide et Action – Education changes the world

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Education worldwide – an emergency situation: Even today, over 100 million children throughout the world, of which 60% are girls, do not have access to an education. 250 million children aged from 5 to 14 do paid work in order to survive. 150 million of them work in highly dangerous conditions. 875 million of the world’s adult population are illiterate – two thirds of this number are women.
Education is the key to development … (full text statement).

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Address: Aide et Action, 53, boulevard de Charonne, 75 545 Paris Cedex 11, FRANCE;

About: Improving school attendance rates requires both improvement of the school’s infrastructure as well as discovering teaching methods appropriate for the local context. Aide et Action participates in building and equipping classrooms, providing educational material and stationery, teacher training and organising sports and cultural events. By introducing new projects like teaching in the local mother tongue or pro-active educational techniques, Aide et Action also contributes to the quality and effectiveness of the teaching.

However a well equipped school and trained teachers are not enough to ensure that children actually attend school. Malnutrition, poverty, domestic chores, work in the fields, and caring for younger members of the family are all barriers to education, especially for girls. Aide et Action therefore organises activities which improve children’s living conditions and make it easier for them to go to school: activities which provide them with income (growing produce or breeding animals which can then be sold to increase finances for the school), school health programmes, preventive health care campaigns, crèches for the youngest children, adult literacy programmes, etc. These activities help them to gain technical skills, give the school a certain amount of financial independence, and ensure the children attend school more regularly. This allows the school to become a force for development of the whole village.

Involving the community means encouraging sustainable development

In each country, the association asks the local community to contribute its skills to the work of the Aide et Action teams. This encourages its staff to work alongside the villagers.  Before launching a project, the Aide et Action teams meet with the local authorities and the local people, so as to determine a plan of action together. As a result the whole community takes part in planning and implementing the project.

Dialogue, participation and respect for individual cultures are the foundations of long-term development work. The ultimate aim is for the local community to take responsibility for its own development.

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