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Help School Children in Developing World
5/28/2004
Lack of universal access to primary education is one of the most significant threats to the future of the developing world. According to a new report by Oxfam International, universal education is "the single most effective preventive weapon against HIV/AIDS." Moreover, education is essential to ending the poverty that plunges some into the despair and hopelessness than can lead to an embrace of terrorism.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is leading an effort to secure U.S. funding to efforts to eliminate school fees in the developing world. She has drafted a letter to Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate subcommittee that handles this issue, proposing that $250 million be devoted in FY’05 to helping developing countries eliminate school fees. Congress will appropriate money for foreign aid later this year, and Sens. McConnell and Leahy will be instrumental in that process. (Click here to see a copy of Sen. Feinstein’s letter.)

YOU CAN HELP!
Call your Senators’ offices at 800-513-3472 and ask them to sign Sen. Feinstein’s letter, or e-mail them by clicking here.

BACKGROUND ON SCHOOL FEES:

  • School fees are the primary reason that children in the developing world – particularly orphans, poor children, and girls -- do not attend school.
  • Free and compulsory education is essential to modern economic growth and development.
  • School fees in Africa are the number one reason why families choose not to adopt AIDS orphans.
  • Eliminating gender disparities in primary education is one of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.
  • Charging for school excludes the poorest and most vulnerable children.


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