Canada is committed to empowering youth at home and around the world. Improving their access to education, amplifying their voices and engaging with them so they can influence decisions that directly affect them are key ways to ensure intergenerational solidarity to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, which is the theme of this year’s International Youth Day.
Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, announced 10 new Refugee Education Council (REC) members, who will play an integral role in the remaining 2 years of Canada’s Together for Learning campaign.
The REC is an advisory body made up of 15 young leaders from Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Asia. They are youth advocates, community leaders, teachers and parents, some of whom continue to live in refugee settlements; all have lived experience as refugees and of being forcibly displaced.
Hosted by World Vision Canada, the REC advises and informs Canada’s Together for Learning campaign and leads the shaping of solutions and approaches to address the education needs of refugee, other forcibly displaced and host-community children and youth, particularly girls and adolescent girls.
Minister Sajjan had the opportunity to meet and engage with 4 REC members while visiting Kenya on May 26 and Jordan on August 7. These council members shared their reasons for wanting to be part of the REC and described, from their points of view, the challenges that children and youth experiencing displacement face in accessing quality education.
Canada’s Together for Learning campaign was launched in February 2021 to strengthen partnerships and unite global stakeholders, national governments, communities and youth in promoting quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for refugee, other forcibly displaced and host-community children and youth, particularly girls and adolescent girls.