Plan International Canada and Strømme Foundation launch the PASS+ project in West Africa with the goal of seeing over 180,000 children in the classroom

In partnership with Educate A Child, the project aims to provide the Speed School model of education for children in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger

TORONTO, ON – November 3, 2016 Plan International Canada and Strømme Foundation are delighted to announce the launch of a new project that will provide access to education for 181,074 children in marginalized, rural communities across the West African countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. The project focuses on 15 regions across the three countries, where approximately 2.8 million children have never attended school or dropped out before completing their primary education. Over half of these children are girls, who face deeply entrenched gender-related barriers to education. These countries share a multitude of similar and complex challenges that have led to the alarming number of out-of-school children: high levels of poverty, drought, conflict, displacement, gender and cultural barriers. The PASS+ project is specifically designed to target the barriers these children face in accessing education.

“At Plan International Canada, we work diligently with our partners to ensure that children can reach their full potential by giving them the chance to thrive in a quality and safe learning environment,” said Dr. Tanjina Mirza, Chief Programs Officer at Plan International Canada. “We can provide marginalized girls and boys crucial access to the education they deserve. We highly commend this model because of the way it is designed to leave no vulnerable children behind.”

The Primary School Access through Speed Schools (PASS+) project is funded by Educate A Child, a programme of the Qatar based Education Above All Foundation (EAA), a global initiative founded in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar. The PASS+ project will provide increased access to gender-responsive and inclusive education in Speed Schools and targeted primary schools. The Speed School model, developed by Strømme Foundation and West African education experts, is a nine-month long accelerated learning program designed to provide a pathway back to education for out-of-school children aged between 8 and 12 years old who have either never enrolled or been out of school for more than two years.

“We are delighted to be given this opportunity from Educate A Child to improve access to education to thousands more children in West Africa” said øyvind Aadland, Secretary General at Strømme Foundation. “Our consortium with Plan International will provide a unique chance to work closely with local communities to address the barriers to education faced by children across West Africa.”

By joining forces with Plan International, one of the world’s oldest and largest international children’s rights and developmental organizations with a strong track record and focus on education and gender equality, the PASS+ project will strengthen the Strømme Foundation’s Speed School model and improve children’s transition to the formal education sector. The project will also see the launch of targeted enrolment campaigns that promote the value of education and encourage children to enrol in their local primary school.

About Plan International Canada

Founded in 1937, Plan International is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan International strives for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Because I am a Girl is Plan International’s global movement to transform power relations so that girls everywhere can learn, lead, decide and thrive.

Visit plancanada.ca and becauseiamagirl.ca for more information.

About Strømme Foundation

The Strømme Foundation (SF) was established in 1976. The objective of SF's work is to build capacity and empower poor people to achieve self-reliance through education and job creation. The organizational structure comprises of four regional offices managed by national staff in West and East Africa, Asia and South America and a Head Office in Kristiansand, Norway. In total SF has 130 employees. The regional offices work closely with local partners in the implementation of education and microfinance development programs as well as institutional capacity-building. Collaboration with government counterparts is integrated in all regions. Visit www.strommestiftelsen.no for more information.

About Educate A Child

Educate A Child (EAC) was founded in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar. EAC aims to trigger significant breakthroughs in providing quality primary education to the more than 60 million children who currently have no access to schooling. Through EAC supported programming, children overcome barriers to educational access and retention. With the overall goal of successfully completing an entire cycle of quality primary education, EAC strives to improve both individual and social outcomes for these children. For more information, visit educateachild.org

Media contacts

Strømme Foundation Asle Danielsen Stalleland
Head, Media Section
T: 47 38 12 75 342 | C: 47 922 17 478 | Asle.stalleland@stromme.org

Kaili Colford
Senior Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan International Canada
T: 416 920-1654 ext. 350 | C: 647-459-7557 | kcolford@plancanada.ca

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