Eighteen photojournalists in 13 countries were mobilized in December 2012 to document the challenges faced by children simply trying to reach their classrooms. Their moving and often startling images reveal the daunting obstacles that must be overcome by millions of children in all regions, to get an education.
Poverty, lack of public transport, political conflicts, religious tensions, urban insecurity, natural disasters, and gender inequality are vividly revealed as threats that must be dealt with every day. Worse, these barriers to education are rarely experienced separately. Combined, they heighten the risk of children being left by the wayside, and brake progress on internationally-
Despite the evident hardship visible in these photos, the children in the exhibition are the lucky ones who actually get to school. In 2012, 61 million children and 71 million adolescents were denied this chance*.
There are several ways to change this. For example, costs can be reduced; public transport can be improved; schools can be set up closer to marginalized communities;
The stories in this exhibition reveal the striking resilience of children, their parents, teachers, volunteers and NGOs, and a collective determination to build a better future. They make a powerful case for education to be placed at the top of the international development agenda.
The “Journeys to School” book features a comprehensive collection of moving photographs and stories, along with data on access to education worldwide and related challenges to be overcome. The book will be sold online from the UNESCO website and a significant portion of the proceeds from sales will be invested in projects supporting girls’ and boy’s education.
Since its foundation in 1945, UNESCO has been at the forefront of global education efforts. The Organization is firmly committed to education as a human right and the key to sustainable human development. UNESCO leads the Education for All movement, a global commitment to provide quality basic education for all children, youth and adults.
About Veolia Transdev
Born out of the merger of Veolia Transport and Transdev, a subsidiary of Veolia Environment and Caisse des Dépôts, Veolia Transdev is the world’s leading public transport operator. Veolia Transdev advises and supports regional authorities, from the pre-project stage to the daily operation of public transport networks, including project management assistance. With 102,000 staff in 27 countries, the group operates 60,000 vehicles and 25 tram systems. In 2010, Veolia Transport generated turnover of 7.8 billion euros.
About Sipa Press
Created in 1973 by Gökşin Sipahioğlu, Sipa Press is one of the world’s most prestigious photo agencies. Sipa Press covers global current events with a staff of photographers, a global network of more than 600 correspondents and exclusive distribution agreements with overseas agencies.
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*Education for All Global Monitoring Report, published annually by UNESCO based on data from the Organization's Institute for Statistics