Education for climate resilience
There is promising research on the potential of education to reduce communities’ vulnerability to the impact of climate change. A recent global survey found that more educated people were more likely to be aware of the threats of climate change. Education influences risk perception and supports problem-solving skills, making communities more prepared to respond to disasters and to adapt to changes in their environment. During times of crisis, schools can provide safe spaces for children and ensure that they can access other health and support services.
In Malawi, Sightsavers is listening and responding to the concerns and priorities of parents of children with disabilities, as well as teachers and communities, to support the inclusion of young children with disabilities in early education. In a rural environment where adaptation is frequently needed, our consultations led to a more holistic education programme with more sustainable approaches. These included establishing community gardens and daily porridge provisions to address nutrition concerns and improve school attendance. Some of the children’s centres have subsequently become self-reliant by producing their own food and family incomes have been boosted through the provision of goats and guidance on farming techniques that can be replicated at home.
An inclusive education project in Malawi is challenging stigma and changing lives by enabling young children with disabilities to attend pre-school alongside their peers.Read the story
Mariana Rudge is Sightsavers’ senior policy adviser for social inclusion and education.