Humana People to People

Humana People to People

Education is a fundamental universal human right

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Education is a human right and a public responsibility, yet children living in poverty continue to face barriers in accessing it. As the world marks International Education Day on 24 January, with this year’s theme ‘Learning for people, planet, prosperity and peace’ millions of children, especially those living in poverty, fail to access education at a global scale.

Without inclusive and equitable education, countries will not succeed in curbing widespread unemployment, achieving gender equity, and breaking the cycle of poverty, leaving millions of children behind. Efforts to reach Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 will be hindered at national, regional and global level.

 

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United Nations Education and Scientific Culture Organisation (UNESCO:2020) reveals that 258 million children and youth do not attend school, 617 million children and adolescents cannot read and do basic math, with less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa completing lower secondary school.

Lack of skilled teachers hinders progress towards achieving universal primary or secondary education, with many untrained teachers and children not receiving proper education. Globally, the United Nations (UN) estimates that 69 million new teachers are required to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030.

For years, Humana People to People (HPP) has been actively working to promote access to education for marginalized children in developing countries. Its teacher training concept was first implemented in Maputo, Mozambique in 1993. This has grown into 53 colleges currently operating in Angola, Congo DR, Guinea Bissau, India, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. Through these colleges, 42,000 primary school teachers have been trained. The majority of teachers work in remote rural communities, positively impacting on the learning outcomes of millions of children.

Close to 5,000 primary school teachers graduate yearly from HPP teacher training colleges. They then choose to further develop their profession by joining a network of graduated teachers committed to improving conditions of primary school education by strengthening the quality of teaching pedagogy through teaching materials, sharing experiences and finding solutions to emerging challenges..

Watch a DAPP Malawi teacher training film here.

Apart from building academic competencies, teachers tackle a variety of topics such as gender equity, menstruation, and disability through campaigns promoting girl-child education. Breaking cultural and structural barriers that fuel increasing numbers of out-of-school-children has changed family and community mindsets into treating girls and boys as equals.

Trained female teachers are increasingly influencing girl-child empowerment, with girls and boys being seen as equals. Girls and young women are empowered to engage in life-sustaining activities, including entrepreneurship initiatives, sexual reproductive health education and awareness. This inclusive, empowered approach has resulted in transformative results.

Developing countries cannot rely solely on their own financing for education, and require foreign aid. Only 20% of aid for education goes to low-income countries, according to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). However, it costs an average of $1.25 a day per child in developing countries to provide 13 years of education.

ICASA 2019 Conference is for AIDS Free Africa

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Humana People to People is attending the International Conference on AIDS and Sexual Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda. The conference is scheduled to start from the 2nd and ending on 7th of December 2019.

The conference is being held under the theme "AIDS FREE AFRICA - Innovation, Community, and Political Leadership." It strives to engage the whole African continent and all stakeholders in the Post-UN Sustainable Development Goals Framework, where sustainability of the response in reaching the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets will not be possible if human rights are not a key priority.

The 20th ICASA is an opportunity to renew the global commitment and draw the world’s attention to the fact that the gains in fighting AIDS are now under threat as a result of the global economic downturn. The conference is an excellent opportunity to promote inter-sectorial achievements in AIDS prevention and response and to strengthen the partnerships among governments, civil society, and development partners.

Progress in eastern and southern Africa, the world’s most affected region, is driving global optimism says UNAIDS in 2018. The 2018 UNAIDS publication titled Turning Point for Africa shows that; in the region, the number of people living with HIV and on antiretroviral therapy has more than doubled since 2010, reaching almost 12.5 million people by June 2017. The publication indicates that new HIV infections in eastern and southern Africa have declined by a third in just six years, while AIDS-related deaths in the region plummeted by 42% over the same period.

Humana People to People is participating at the ICASA 2019 Conference, exhibiting at stand 12 showcasing its unique approaches which are anchored on reaching hard-to-reach communities and working with most-at-risk communities to access HIV testing, supporting HIV treatment and adherence. How Humana People to People supports the strengthening of community health systems to deliver effective uptake of HIV and AIDS clinic-based services are all part of strategies being used to save lives through empowering communities to take control against the AIDS epidemic.

 

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Humana People to People’s mission to accelerate towards the end of HIV and AIDS is based on support for community response to disease prevention, care and treatment. Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE) is an HIV and AIDS programme, equipping people with capacity to fight AIDS in countries facing high prevalence of the epidemic.

TCE strengthens community responsiveness in order to gain control of HIV and AIDS at individual and community level. Since its initiation at the start of the millennium, the programme has expanded to cover Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe including China and India.

TCE has since aligned its strategies with the UNAIDS 90-90-90 strategy which focuses on ensuring that 90% of people infected with HIV know their status, 90% of those infected get anti-retroviral therapy, which in turn should lead to 90% of those under treatment achieving HIV viral suppression. Testing is accordingly focused on special groups, e.g. men having sex with men, adolescent girls and young women, and commercial sex workers.

 

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People are reached via index testing, contact tracing for those defaulting on their HIV treatment, skills training for entrepreneurship that supports income generation, and prevention of intergenerational sexual practices.

For close to two decades, Humana People to People has fought the spread of HIV and AIDS, together with the affected and infected communities and helped to save millions of lives. Years of concerted health actions have been carried out through a substantial coordinated network of community-based health workers, local volunteers and government health departments.

UFF Norway turns 40 years of development work

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The Federation Humana People to People is extremely proud to have UFF Norway as a member who, this week is celebrating 40 years of people to people development work. We celebrate this occasion with all the people who makes UFF Norway possible; the employees through their persistent work, the public by way of their generous donations of clothes and shoes and municipalities and other partners for their support.

The collective and consistent effort by the people in Norway involved, has resulted in tremendous positive change in lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as the reduction of CO2 in the fight against global warming and climate change.

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We wish UFF Norway continuous success in their very necessary effort to impact the global development towards a decent future where people share the limited resources of our planet.

Rural Women and Girls are key in Building Climate Resilience

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‘Rural women represent the backbone of many communities, but they continue to face obstacles that prevent them from realizing their potential. The devastating impacts of climate change add to their hardship,’ says the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

Each 15th of October the world commemorates the International Day of the Rural Women. Humana People to People values the importance of the rural women as they make a frontline of agents of change in pushing for creation of development. In 2019 the day is being marked under the theme: ‘Rural Women and Girls Building Climate Resilience.”

Women account for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labour force, including informal work, and perform the bulk of unpaid care and domestic work within families and households in rural areas. They make significant contributions to agricultural production, food security and nutrition, land and natural resource management, and building climate resilience.

Even so, women and girls in rural areas suffer disproportionately from multi-dimensional poverty. While extreme poverty has declined globally, the world’s 1 billion people who continue to live in unacceptable conditions of poverty are heavily concentrated in rural areas. Poverty rates in rural areas across most regions are higher than those in urban areas. Yet smallholder agriculture produces nearly 80 per cent of food in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and supports the livelihoods of some 2.5 billion people – UN FAO 2018. Women farmers may be as productive and enterprising as their male counterparts, but are less able to access land, credit, agricultural inputs, markets and high-value agri-food chains and often obtain lower prices for their crops.

 

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The impacts of climate change, including on access to productive and natural resources, amplify existing gender inequalities in rural areas. Climate change affects women’s and men’s assets and well-being differently in terms of agricultural production, food security, health, water and energy resources, climate-induced migration and conflict, and climate-related natural disasters.

Humana People to People engages women and girls in its community-based, people driven and people-led social development activities which are mostly responding to strengthening families and communities’ cohesion in improving the conditions of children and equipping farmers with farming skills which ensure food security. Development focus is on empowering the girls and women to gain skills through trainings, to depend on their capacity through awareness raising and utlisation of available resources to support a better life and to work as a collective force in problem solving and identifying opportunities worth exploiting.

 

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By, taking an active role in responding to women’s rights upholding in rural communities the members of Humana People to People thus are implementing various initiatives all centered on addressing effects of poverty, saving lives, building a resilient community against climate shock and imparting skills and techniques vital to improve livelihoods. In India, Mozambique, Congo, D.R., Zambia, Malawi, Belize and South Africa women are working with Humana People to People members through village based clubs were they learn about sexual reproductive health, climate smart agriculture, internal savings and lending schemes, entrepreneurship skills and how to avoid sexual relationships with older men. The initiatives are supporting women and girls in improving the livelihoods of rural women and providing them with the knowledge and tools which enable them to make firm decisions and become equal participants in formulation of household decisions and development agenda of their communities.

Education is thus, integrated in all the initiatives as it plays a key role in improving literacy – as the reading and numeracy skills support effective adoption of government services and general increase on gender equality awareness.

World Teachers Day: The solution to the global learning crisis lies in quality teacher training

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Globally, approximately 617 million children and adolescents, which is over 55% of the global total, lacked minimum proficiency in reading and maths in 2015. This is despite two-thirds of this group attending school, where they did not become proficient because they either dropped out or did not learn basic skills.

Although commendable strides have been made in the number of children attending school, proficiency rates remain unacceptably low.

This global learning crisis not only hinders an individuals’ ability to break out of poverty, but it stalls the upward socioeconomic mobility of nations as they struggle to compete in a highly complex and competitive global economy.

Noteworthy progress has been made towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 – to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all – but important steps remain.

One fundamental step towards the goal of good quality education for all is getting enough trained teachers into classrooms. Teachers are the most critical factor in student learning outcomes, so a shortage of well-qualified teachers jeopardises the quality, inclusiveness and equity of education.

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This issue is starkest in sub-Saharan Africa, where although enrolment has increased, 88% of children of primary and lower secondary school age lacked proficiency in reading, and 84% lacked basic mathematical skills.

Since opening its first teacher training college in Maputo, Mozambique, in 1993, Humana People to People has been committed to meeting the educational needs in the countries in which it operates. Humana’s focus is on training teachers to become skilled, competent educators, who see themselves as agents of change within the wider community and strive to foster curiosity, critical thinking skills and openness to life-long learning in younger generations.

Our teachers also mainly take up and retain positions in rural communities, answering the teacher gap in remote and hard-to-reach areas. In Malawi, the majority of our teachers are located in rural areas, responsible for classes of around 100 children. Our approach to training, which focuses on both academic and practical skills, means teachers are equipped to develop and deliver inclusive structures for children at disparate grade levels.

Due to the emphasis on building both knowledge and citizenship, our teachers often play a major role in these communities, helping to build latrines, wells and houses. Teachers work with communities to address sanitation problems, identify out-of-school children or assist with emergency work after floods.

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Over the years we have found that this holistic approach to teacher training instils a sense of pride in our teachers, which has resulted in a decline in absenteeism and improved education systems in the communities in which the graduates have served.

We believe that quality education is a core component of sustainable development and that a number of the globe’s most pressing issues – poverty, inequality, climate change – will only be overcome through holistic action, which includes the provision of an inclusive and quality learning experience.

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There is cause for celebration today, on World Teachers Day, as important strides have been made in improving education rates globally. However, as school enrolment grows, more emphasis must be placed upon the quality of education. Currently, standardised testing and streamlining of curricula do not take into account the reality of education levels. We would like to see the needs of the children at the centre of educational policies, as well as well-trained teachers who can adapt to meet the individual needs of children, committed to unlocking their student’s interest and energy for learning.

By Snorre Westgaard, Chairman of the global international development charity, Humana People to People (HPP). HPP is a federation of 30 locally registered and managed non-governmental organizations active in 45 countries on 5 continents.

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