International Day for Disaster Reduction

Secretary-General Ant—nio Guterres Walks through the local relief effort in Sabiya and meets with local authorities and community members during a multi-sector distribution Scenario: The delegation is received by Cassius Darroux, Minister for Kalinago Affairs, Charles Williams, Chief of Kalinago Territory, and Sylvanie Burton, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who made a brief presentation about the socio-economic impact of Hurricane Maria in Kalinago Territory. The delegation interacts with the Jolly John Hamlet Development Committee in charge of organizing the local relief effort. The delegation will interact with the community during a multi-sector distribution (food, NFIs) at a walking distance from the landing site. Activities will include: Blanket distribution of three-day emergency food ration (Government/WFP) Psychosocial recreational activities for children (UNICEF) Blanket distribution of solar lamps and targeted distribution of kitchen and hygiene kits for affected populations with completely destroyed houses (IOM) Access to safe water and hygiene promotion (WHO/PAHO & UNICEF) Health surveillance and provision of medical kits and medicines (WHO/PAHO)

“We have had great success in reducing the number of lives lost to disasters, thanks to early warning systems, preparedness, and more efficient evacuations. Now we must focus on reducing human suffering and the number of people affected.” — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

International Day of the Girl Child


EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises

“Since 2012, 11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.” UNESCO

World Teachers’ Day


“World Teachers’ Day is celebrated annually worldwide and brings together governments, multi- and bilateral organizations, NGOs, private sectors, teachers and experts in the field of teaching. With the adoption of SDG 4 on education, and the dedicated target 4.c recognizing teachers as key to the achievement of the 2030 Education Agenda, it has become the occasion to mark achievements and reflect on ways to counter the remaining challenges for the promotion of the teaching profession, like the acute shortage of teachers. Indeed, according to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the world needs 69 Million teachers if we are to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030.” UNESCO

13th International Conference on ICT for Education, Training & Skills Development


“Over 12 consecutive years, eLearning Africa has hosted 16,228 participants from 100+ countries around the world, with over 85% coming from the African continent. More than 3,300 speakers have addressed the conference about every aspect of technology supported learning and skills development.

The PROGRAMME includes core dialogues, debates, discovery demos, knowledge exchange sessions, knowledge factories, networking meet-ups, panel talks, plenary sessions and poster presentations on specific topics and informal networking opportunities in which practitioners share their experiences, ideas, new information and perspectives.” eLearning Africa

International Day of Peace


The theme for the International Day of Peace in 2018 is “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”

“Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. ” United Nations


International Literacy Day


“International Literacy Day, celebrated annually on 8 September, is an opportunity for Governments, civil society and stakeholders to highlight improvements in world literacy rates, and reflect on the world’s remaining literacy challenges. The issue of literacy is a key component of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” United Nations

World Humanitarian Day


“Every year on World Humanitarian Day, we shine a spotlight on the millions of civilians around the world whose lives have been caught up in conflict. On this day we also take a moment to honour the brave health and aid workers who are targeted or obstructed as they set out to help people in need, and pay tribute to the government employees, members of civil society and representatives of international organizations and agencies who risk their lives to provide humanitarian aid and protection.” — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

International Youth Day

Group of youth who are against weapons. Visit to United Nations Project Site Ð Conseil de dŽveloppement dÕAndohatapenaka, Conseil de DŽveloppement dÕAndohatapenaka

“On 17 December 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.

Since the adoption of Security Council Resolution S/RES/2250 (2015) in 2015, there is growing recognition that as agents of change, young people’s inclusion in the peace and security agenda and in society more broadly, is key to building and sustaining peace.” United Nations

Artificial Intelligence, blockchain transforming learning


Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain are two technological trends transforming teaching and learning. COL’s President and CEO, Professor Asha Kanwar, spoke about these emerging trends  on 13 July 2018 at the 17th Annual Association of Caribbean Higher Education Administrators (ACHEA) Conference in Trinidad and Tobago, in her address on “Creativity and Innovation.”

Professor Kanwar noted that the adoption of such technology will result in blended and collaborative learning. She stressed that the rapid rise of Messaging has strong implications for learning, particularly WhatsApp and Messenger, which both have billions of users. Read more at

A digital intervention to literacy and numeracy for refugees and asylum seekers, Kakuma, Kenya


Along with the other arid and semi-arid lands, Turkana county has one of the lowest indicators of economic and social development in Kenya, with youth and women being the most affected. Across the county, youth not only face structural barriers to work but also deal with social and cultural blocks. This equally affects women and newly-arrived refugees. The key barriers hindering the absorption of youth and other vulnerable groups into the local labour market include low and unmatched skills uptake and limited access to financial services brought about by language barriers, lack of credit history and low literacy levels. Consequently, addressing these barriers is critical in easing the social integration of young people into the wider community and assisting them to transition into and navigate the labour market. Turkana county has an estimated population of 1,427,797 people with youth aged between 15 and 29 years accounting for about 31.78%. It holds the Kakuma Refugee Camp and Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement which are home to approximately 185,449 registered refugees and asylum-seekers comprising 21 nationalities.

The Promoting Life Skills and Livelihoods project commonly referred to as Skills 4 Life, is a Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) funded project that has been implemented by Swisscontact since 2013. It is currently in its second implementation phase which closes in June 2019 and targets both members of the host community and refugees living in the Kakuma Refugee Camp and Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement. The project aims to strengthen the income generating capabilities of 2,500 youth aged between 16 and 25 years by enhancing their access to technical, financial, life, literacy and numeracy training skills using both conventional and digital mediums for improved livelihoods. Read more at

Successful strategies for impact at scale – India


Strategy 1.0 Building for growth

How did we get to over 25,000 schools across 15 districts of India in 10 years? And how do we plan to get to 31 districts in the next five?

Educate Girls was founded on the premise that we were looking for a solution to the problem of gender inequality throughout India’s education system, rather than seeking a better education for a few. When Safeena Husain, our founder and executive director, returned to India from working in development in other parts of the world, she knew that she wanted to design for scale. From day one, she envisioned success as getting every girl in school — and making sure they were all learning.

Delivering our first strategy enabled us to identify some critical factors that enabled growth over our first 10 years — intentionality, evidence, codification, focus, staff values and the type of funding we have attracted.

Growth was intentional. Each stage of our organizational development was planned for and deliberate, as we grew from a 50-school pilot to 500, to close to 2,000 across a single district and then rapidly from 5,000 up to our current 25,000 schools in 2018. At every stage, there was intent and design for the growth of the outreach as well as the supporting organization. For example, as the organization grew, at each stage, careful consideration was given to how our staff were hired, inducted, managed and rewarded. With pro bono expert advice from a talent management firm, we were able to put improved systems and processes in place to nurture and retain staff.

Prof. C.B. Sharma visits UBEC to facilitate the establishment of an Open School in Nigeria


Prof. C.B. Sharma, Chairman (Photo: seated and third from left), National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) has visited the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Abuja, Nigeria. The purpose of the visit was to facilitate the establishment of an Open School in Nigeria. During the visit, Prof. C.B. Sharma attended a two-day workshop on 9th & 10th July, 2018 to discuss strategies for harnessing the potential for open schooling for providing greater access to basic education to children and youths of the country.

The visit was supported by Commonwealth of Learning (COL). The two-day workshop concluded with the request to submit a proposal along with a roadmap for initiation of Open Schooling in Nigeria.

Prof. Sharma sees this as a great opportunity for India-Nigeria Collaboration in establishing the open school of Nigeria.

Please see below for additional images from the visit.