“The COVID-19 pandemic has created even greater challenges for the most vulnerable children. Ninety-four percent of the world’s student population has been impacted by this crisis. It is our responsibility as a global church to ensure that we care for children as God cares for us,” says Ted Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “The Adventist church has one of the largest Christian educational systems in the world and with more than 22 million church members globally, we have the moral and Christian obligation to ensure that every child, everywhere has access to a quality education, regardless of race, religion or circumstance.”
The first phase of the grassroots advocacy effort kicked-off in October 2019 with a petition drive aimed at collecting a million online signatures by 2020, to raise awareness and support for the millions of children, adolescents and youth globally who lack education. According to the latest report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) data, one out of five children and youth are out of school, and the coronavirus pandemic is responsible for the largest disruption in history, affecting 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries, across every continent.
The Every Child. Everywhere. In School. campaign surpassed its one million petition goal in July of this year. ADRA and Adventist church members in nearly 200 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the South Pacific pledged their support to call on world leaders, local governments, and decision makers to take action to improve children’s education everywhere.