Stories written by Yasmine Sherif

End Violence Against Women and Girls

As we now have entered the 21st century, we must end violence against girls and women. Attacking and abusing girls and women as a means of warfare, the war-machinery or domestic violence as a result of crisis, is absolutely abhorrent and unacceptable. Exposing half of the world’s population to the risks of violence because of their gender is not only a violation of international and domestic laws, but a disgraceful and brute breach of our very own humanity.

Every Child Has a Right to Realize the Human Potential

On World Children’s Day, we must remember what it means to be a child born with a right to reach the human potential. Nothing is more precious, more priceless, than a child growing towards that potential. And nothing is more despicable than to ignore the innocence and learning needs of a child in the process of becoming…

We Own Our Choice to Finance Education

There is a stillness to the tent as I enter. This is a place of loss and pain, yet also a place of resilience and hope; everything coming together all at once.

Transforming Education, Transforming The World

Leaders from across the world are uniting at the UN Secretary-General’s Transforming Education Summit to address a global education crisis that threatens to derail decades of development gains and is depriving millions of girls across the world of their inherent human right to access a quality education.

We Must Unite to Protect Education From Attack

Schools, students and teachers continue to be targeted and attacked in countries around the world. Over the past two years, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of attacks on education. Innocent children, adolescents and teachers are being killed, raped and abducted. Schools and universities are bombed, burned down and used for military purposes. Girls and boys are too scared to walk to school and face intimidation and other attacks. These are severe breaches of international humanitarian law and ultimately – and absolutely – inhumane.

Transforming Girls’ Education, Changing The World

As we approach this year’s Transforming Education Summit, global leaders can and must prioritize expertise and mobilize political will to support efforts to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, especially girls. This is at the heart of Sustainable Development Goal 4 in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the commitments made in the Charlevoix Declaration and the G7 Declaration on Girls’ Education.

‘Aid Organizations Must Include the Youth Voice’ August 12, 2022—International Youth Day

Today marks International Youth Day, a global celebration of the transformative power of young people. Introduced by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999, the event was inaugurated not only to observe the power of the youth voice, but to serve as a promise from those in power to activate the power of youth across the development sector.

Today is the Time for Transformation

“I first think about my children. They are why we were forced to leave - because our children are always our first concern.” These are the moving words of Victoria, who fled the brutal war in Ukraine with her two daughters. Her eyes welling up with tears, she recalled their dangerous journey from Ukraine. She and her two school-aged daughters were forced to leave behind everything they have ever known.

Connecting the Dots for the Transforming Education Summit

Look around the world at this very moment. Whether we look at it in stark numbers and statistics, whether we look at it as a generational loss of basic human rights, including the right to an education, or whether we look inwardly and feel the unspeakable human suffering and devastation taking place, we all agree: we are at a historically low point in our collective humanity.

International Women’s Day, 2022
Girls’ Education Must Come First

For decades now, world leaders have talked about ending hunger and poverty and building a new world order based on human rights and gender-equality.

We Must Rise to the Occasion, Now.

In 2021, COVID-19 continued to plague the world – a world already burdened by armed conflicts, climate-induced disasters and forced displacement. Communities, nations and people struggled to maintain normalcy in the midst of the abnormal. This was especially notable in the education sector – a sector that is the very foundation for achieving all human rights and all Sustainable Development Goals.

The Future of an Entire Generation Hangs in the Balance

COVID-19 has upended our world, threatening our health, destroying economies and livelihoods, and deepening poverty and inequalities. It also created the single largest disruption to education systems that the world has ever seen.

Winning the Human Race, Together

“Now is the time for a stronger, more networked and inclusive multilateral system anchored in the United Nations,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his latest report “Our Common Agenda.” Indeed, there is a fork in the road: we can either choose to breakdown or to breakthrough.

We Stay and Deliver until the Light Shines

Kabul 1990. I land in the capital of Afghanistan for my very first mission with the United Nations. Controlled by the government, Kabul was surrounded by the Mujahedeen. As a young female professional, living and working across the country, I felt protected by the Afghans, whether walking in the bustling cities or meeting with the Mujahedeen in the rural countryside. Afghanistan had already been at war for over ten years and we all worked with the hope that the fighting would come to an end soon.

Afghanistan’s Girls Need our Unwavering Support in Education

The Taliban takeover of government in Kabul is just days old, and the eyes of Afghans and the world are cautiously watching and hopeful to see them stand by their word and ensure that girls’ education be promoted and protected.

We Were Born to Do This!

The first time I visited South Sudan in 2004 - prior to its independence - I travelled across the entire the country which was then a region devastated by man’s inhumanity to man. Although South Sudan is slightly larger than France, I could find only one concrete school building in Rumbek.

Bridging the Gap and Crossing the Bridge

It may be a challenge, but it is also an absolute necessity: bridging the gap between international law and reality and quickly crossing the bridge to reach all crisis-affected children and youth left furthest behind. Inclusive and equitable quality education is the right of every girl and boy and the objective of Sustainable Development Goal 4.

Central Sahel: Ground Zero in Tackling Climate Change Through Education

The climate crisis is amplifying the effects of instability and violence in the world’s poorest countries. Nowhere is this more visible than in Africa’s Central Sahel region, where increasing temperature, floods, droughts and other climate change-induced disasters are triggering conflicts, displacement, and pushing girls and boys into the shadows.

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied: Their Education Cannot Wait

The right to an inclusive quality education is not a privilege. It is a human right. Delaying or ignoring the right to an education equals failing to protect human rights. The longer we wait, the less we contribute to justice.

Africa’s Forgotten Crisis

A few weeks ago, I traveled with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi to the Modale refugee site in the Nord-Ubangi province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). What we witnessed there was a profound humanitarian crisis that has left 4.7 million children and youth in need of urgent, life-saving, life-changing educational support.

Reimagining Education with Imagination

The month of May marks mental health awareness month or mental health awareness week in several countries around the world. Many people will be reading posts and blogs about the importance of getting more sunshine and exercise to avoid the blues, about ways to deal with the stress of the pandemic, about dealing with everyday challenges that disrupt our striving for happiness.

Next Page »