International days are opportunities to educate the public on issues of concern, address global problems, and celebrate and reinforce the achievements of humanity. The United Nations General Assembly declared 15 July as World Youth Skills Day, to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work, and entrepreneurship. World Youth Skills Day 2021 will pay tribute to the resilience and creativity of youth through the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in the widespread disruption of technical and vocational education and training institutions (TVET). Youth skills development will face a range of unfamiliar problems emerging from a crisis where training has been disrupted in an unprecedented manner on such a grand universal scale. The COVID-19 pandemic has reached a scale that could hardly have been anticipated one year ago.
Young people aged 15-24 are particularly exposed to the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic. School and workplace closures are leading to learning and training losses. Major life-cycle transitions are made difficult if not impossible, including graduation from general education.
Education which is a basic human right has the potential to enable children to gain the life skills and knowledge needed to cope with today’s challenges and be accountable for their own change, yet there are several factors such as poverty, and now this global pandemic limiting millions of children and young people around the world from getting an education. Education enables upward socioeconomic mobility and is a key to escaping poverty. But never before have so many children been out of school at the same time, disrupting learning and upending lives, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized. The global pandemic has far-reaching consequences that may jeopardize hard-won gains made in improving global education.
Education and training are central to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. Education 2030 is fully captured by Sustainable Development Goal 4 “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
There are many projects aimed at building the developing world in line with global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International (COFI) is the umbrella organization with some influential NGOs in its network. COFI believes in supporting strong foundations of community by promoting good governance, accountable leadership, and sustainable development in Africa and in other vulnerable parts of the world. The InnerCity Mission for Children (ICM), under the auspices of Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International, aims to provide continuous learning for vulnerable children who have been at risk of falling far behind in their learning or may never return to school due to the effect of the COVID-19 crisis.
Over the years, the programs and interventions in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have impacted the lives of millions of indigent beneficiaries mostly children around the world in underserved, hard-to-reach communities. One of the biggest contributors to ending poverty is ensuring children have an education. For any child, education can open doors to the future that would otherwise be locked tight.