Universal access to education is a goal wholeheartedly supported by FCG International
For the first time in history since embarking in development work in 1972, Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) has published an annual report discussing their recent accomplishments and future goals. The report published on the 1st November 2018 addressed Finland’s accomplishments in all development sectors, especially in improving women’s access to education and position in society. As universal access to education for all genders is an issue that lies very close to Finland’s heart, there has been a lot of passion to drive this forward in development project work.
“1.5 million women and girls have received sexual and reproductive health services, 2.5 million people have gotten access to clean water and the amount of girls starting secondary school has increased by over 10% in target countries .” Here outlines some of the central figures in the report that directly or indirectly improve the ability for women and girls to attend education. FCG International’s core values are in line with these goals, and have contributed in realizing these outcomes in multiple projects funded by MFA Finland.
Seeing that only 4% of Ethiopian children with special needs were enrolled in primary school, was disheartening for those who are strong advocates of universal primary education.
During 2013-2017, FCG International set about improving the access and quality of special needs education in Ethiopia in a project funded by MFA Finland. This targeted a grass roots and national policy level by directly spreading awareness and training to community teachers, while providing technical support for creating a national 10-year education plan in the government. Only two years after starting the Ethiopian project, special needs education enrolment had increased by 312%, and the proportion of girls had already increased by several percentage points.
Ethiopia’s economic growth has been amongst the fastest in the world. Most recent political development has also improved women’s position in the society which will improve their access to education. Picture from the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Another project during 2010-2016 facilitated basic water management services to over a hundred remote village communities in Nepal, affecting a population of half a million. In Nepalese rural areas, many females do not attend school due to domestic obligations and water collecting duties. The project encouraged women’s position in committee and decision-making processes related to water management. By further providing access to direct water sources, women and girls had less obligations keeping them from going to school. FCG International is currently working on a continuation project during 2016-2022 which is targeting a larger population and strives to empower women further.
Women from Marma Municipality in far north west Nepal, participate in a Menstruation Hygiene Management workshop, with staff from RVWRMP III (funding from MFA Finland and the EU). Here they are learning to making reusable sanitary pads, as part of the total sanitation efforts.
Finland's Development Policy Results Report, which has been prepared by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, was submitted to Parliament on 1 November 2018. The report presents results of Finland's development policy and development cooperation reported in 2015–2018. Summary of the Report can be found from:
Anne-Maria Salmela (anne-maria.salmelafcg.fi), Nov 5th 2018