Climate Change, Education, Education Cannot Wait. Future of Education is here, Human Rights, Migration & Refugees

Award-Winning Journalist and Best-Selling Author Christina Lamb Appointed Global Champion for Education Cannot Wait

Chief Foreign Correspondent for The Sunday Times and I Am Malala Co-Author will advocate for the right to education for crisis-affected children with the UN global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises.

NEW YORK, Jun 15 2023 - Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the UN global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, today named Christina Lamb as its newest ‘ECW Global Champion’.

The Chief Foreign Correspondent for The Sunday Times and best-selling co-author of I Am Malala will help advance ECW’s advocacy worldwide, leverage her vast networks to support resource mobilization efforts, and work with global strategic partners to increase visibility for the pressing challenges facing the more than 222 million crisis-impacted girls and boys worldwide who urgently need quality education.

As one of the world’s preeminent journalists, Lamb has covered everything from wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria to repression and human rights abuses in Eritrea and Zimbabwe. She has authored ten books, including I Am Malala, The Girl from Aleppo and Our Bodies, Their Battlefield. Through her 30-plus years as a journalist and advocate, Lamb has received 18 major awards, including five British Press Awards.

“Christina is a global force for good in the world. Her honest and passionate storytelling about the real-life trials and tribulations facing girls like Malala and Nujeen Mustafa is an inspiration to us all. As a ECW Global Champion, Christina will continue to advocate for increased resources to support the right to education for crisis-impacted children worldwide. By providing education for every girl and boy on the planet – especially children whose lives have been ripped apart by the cataclysmic forces of armed conflicts, climate change and forced displacement – we can transform lives and transform our world,” said Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait.

“This appointment means everything to me. As a journalist covering conflict and crisis round the world for more than three decades – and a mum – the toll on children is always the most heartbreaking. Over and over, I have seen children forced to flee their homes, live in crowded camps or underground shelters, or watch loved ones die in front of them, yet at the same time, show remarkable resilience,” said Lamb. “I am currently in Ukraine, where I am meeting children who have lost their homes in bombings and now floods forced to leave everything they know; who were themselves abducted by the Russians; or whose parents are on the frontlines, and who have gotten grimly accustomed to the air raid sirens that sound several times a day.”

Lamb was a key-note moderator and participant during Education Cannot Wait’s “Spotlight on Afghanistan” session at this year’s High-Level Financing Conference in Geneva. The session was headlined by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed; Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Laureate and co-founder of The Malala Fund; Somaya Faruqi, Education Cannot Wait Global Champion and Captain of the Afghan Girls Robotics Team; Ziauddin Yousafzai, co-founder of The Malala Fund; Fawzia Koofi, Women’s Rights Activist and Former Deputy Speaker in the Afghan National Parliament; and The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and Chair of the ECW High-Level Steering Group.

“I get daily WhatsApps from girls in Afghanistan, desperately trying to cling onto their dreams in the only country on earth which bans girls from high school and university. I have been lucky enough to work with girls like Malala who have risked their lives to be able to go to school, or Nujeen Mustafa from Aleppo who fights for the rights of disabled child refugees. I will do everything to raise my own voice,” Lamb said.

Nations worldwide have committed to “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all” through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG4). COVID-19, climate change, forced displacement and conflict are derailing global efforts to deliver on the goals by 2030. About 72 million of the crisis-impacted children in the world are out of school.

Lamb joins key global leaders, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in supporting ECW’s 222 Million Dreams Campaign – which kicked off last year and seeks to mobilize at least $1.5 billion to deliver on ECW’s four-year strategic plan.

“It is also clear to me that nothing makes more of a difference than education, and we must do all we can for the more than 222 million crisis-affected girls and boys who are missing out on schooling in the world’s toughest contexts,” Lamb said.

Since becoming operational in 2017, ECW’s innovative multi-year investments have been delivered across more than 40 countries worldwide. ECW investments deliver life-saving holistic education supports with a strong focus on aid localization, climate change, disability inclusion, early childhood education, forced displacement, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, mental health and psychosocial support, and holistic education.


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