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Every child has the right to an education – no matter who they are or where they live.  

At UNICEF Australia, we know just how important education is to building better futures for children and young people. It can mean lifting a vulnerable child and their family out of poverty or a way for a young person to gain confidence to find a job. For many, going to school can be the only opportunity to receive nutritious food and clean water or a young girl’s only chance to break down gender barriers.  

But not everyone has access to an education. 

Around the world, millions of children are not attending school. Some are trapped in cycles of poverty, caught in conflict or facing extreme forms of discrimination. No matter the circumstances, the fact is, children are being left behind and we need to do something about it. 

That’s why our teams work daily to support innovative programs here in Australia and across the world so vulnerable children can have access to quality education, which will positively impact children and their families for generations to come.   

Girl writing on board in class© UNICEF/UN0652303/Nesbitt

Meet the children of Afghanistan striving for an education.

Girls attend class as part of a UNICEF supported community-based education program in rural Afghanistan. This program provides adolescent children who didn’t start school at the right time with a safe and local opportunity to fast-track their learning.  

Since April 2022, due to political tension, approximately 80 per cent of high-school aged girls in Afghanistan are recorded to be out of school. UNICEF Afghanistan Chief of Communications, Sam Mort says, “We know girls want to learn. We know there's a huge thirst for education in Afghanistan. So, UNICEF's approach is to fuel that demand. So far, we have 10,000 of these community-based classrooms up and running across the country.

Ensuring a lifetime of learning 

By working here in Australia and in some neighbouring Asia Pacific countries, our UNICEF Australia team is ensuring children can build better futures. We work together with communities to provide long term development programs. We provide opportunities for children to engage through play-based learning, and we empower teens to stay in school or learn essential skills for future workplace. Plus, we provide essential information and training to parents and teachers.

UNICEF Australia will always be there to support a lifetime of learning through our commitment to supporting critical, underfunded programs, here in Australia and in our neighbouring countries; Cambodia, Laos, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Burundi, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the Pacific Islands. This work is made possible thanks to generous supporters like you, as well as the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP)

Children gathered together

Life Cycle Approach


new early childhood education centres were established in rural and remote communities across Asia Pacific with UNICEF Australia support from 2017-2020.


children across Asia Pacific were provided with access to early childhood education by UNICEF Australia’s programs in 2021.

Family in Papua New Guinea© UNICEF/UN0396083/Cook Junior

Meet Jacklyn, a mother of two in Papua New Guinea.

When Jacklyn realised the nearest school was too far away for her young children to attend, she decided to build her own. Supported by UNICEF Australia, Jacklyn built the Early Childhood Development Centre. Today, the school has over 50 children enrolled.  

Jacklyn says, “I’m very emotional...This classroom was built by us, the mothers. We wanted to build a school because all the schools are too far away, so we wanted our community to have a preschool to ensure the safety of our children.”  

This program is supported by the Australian Government through the PNGAusPartnership.

Help provide children with a chance to learn.

From the Asia Pacific region to Afghanistan, we urgently need your help to provide the world's children with equal opportunity to learn.

Child in class