The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) announced this week a new global advocacy campaign, “Every Child. Everywhere. In School.” The campaign is an urgent call to leaders around the world that all children, regardless of race, age, nationality, gender, religion or origin, have a right to earn and complete an education, and that being in school is a recognition of the value and potential of each individual child.
The campaign aims to collect one million signatures by 2020 through grassroots efforts in collaboration with the Adventist church, and petition world leaders to take action for children to receive a quality education, and live free from exploitation and the shackles of intergenerational poverty. Already, 131 ADRA offices around the world have pledged support for this global campaign.
“Every child is a child of God—precious, unique, and filled with incredible potential. However, poverty, marriages at young ages, inequality, disability, and many other factors are keeping an unacceptably high number of children out of school. This is why we are calling for greater investments in education globally and increased access to quality education for all children. It’s time that we make education a top priority so that every child can fulfill their God- given potential,” says Jonathan Duffy, president of ADRA.
A 2018 UNESCO study reported that there has been little improvement in the reduction of out-of-school children, adolescents and youth since 2012, and that since 2016, more than 262 million children around the world are still out of school. This represents nearly one-fifth of the global population of this age group. Additionally, high poverty levels were reportedly linked to out-of-school rates.
“The Every Child. Everywhere. In School. campaign builds on the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s long tradition of responding to the needs of all human beings, namely to stand up in favor of human rights, the well-being of children, and the protection and integrity of families,” Duffy says. “It is a call to action for all supporters to stand up with this Adventist-led movement and put into practice those principles we hold true.”
Over the years, ADRA has been a strong advocate on different social justice issues, including working with faith- based communities to champion support for refugees, migrants and displaced persons during World Refugee Day and World Refugee Sabbath, providing assistance to vulnerable families through emergency relief efforts, and giving greater access to children affected by displacement. ADRA has also pushed to end violence against women and girls, having supported the “End It Now” campaign spearheaded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Department of Women’s Ministries.
ABOUT ADRA: The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.