The horrific attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan where latest reports state that up to 120 children have been murdered, tragically portrays the real dangers faced by huge numbers of children worldwide as they strive to access education, child rights’ organisation Plan Ireland has said.
Plan has worked in Pakistan since 1997, supporting around 1.6 million children in 4,945 communities across the country to access their rights to education, basic health care and nutrition.
Today’s tragic shooting, is reminiscent of the attack on Pakistani teenager and Nobel Laureate, Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman two years after coming to prominence for her campaigning for girls’ education.
Speaking from Pakistan, Plan Country Director, Rashid Javid said;
“This is an absolutely outrageous and senseless attack on innocent children who were simply trying to pursue their education. To attack a place of learning, which is supposed to provide a safe sanctuary where children can thrive and prosper is unconscionable.
Regrettably, this act bares many of the hallmarks of the attack on Malala Yousafzai two years ago. Some groups and individuals persist in trying to deny children their rightful access to education. They are determined to stop children from reaching their full potential, improve their lives and make a meaningful contribution to their societies.
However, as an organisation, Plan is unwavering in its commitment to bring about lasting change for children and improving their life chances and will not be deterred by events such as today.”
Malala Yousafzai has previously supported Plan Ireland’s Because I am a Girl campaign, by “Raising her Hand” for girls’ education. She visited Ireland to accept the Tipperary Peace Prize in 2013
Plan Ireland, CEO, David Dalton said;
“The events unfolding today in Pakistan are abhorrent. They vividly portray some of the real risks and dangers which millions of children face in their daily struggle to gain an education.
Learning is crucial for development and is one of the most powerful tools in breaking the cycle of poverty. Plan invests more in education than any other area and works to ensure children, their families and communities get the knowledge and life skills they need to flourish.
Last year alone, Plan trained 67,647 educators on child-friendly learning skills and supported the construction and rehabilitation of almost 3,000 schools.”