The mission of United World Schools (UWS) is “to teach the unreached.” The organization’s goal to provide free, accessible, quality primary education to children from some of the most remote and marginalised areas in the world is being realised with the help of donors and partners. Since 2017, Search Associates (SEARCH) has partnered with UWS as the sole sponsor of O Rey School in Cambodia.
UWS schools are designed to support students’ development of foundational skills in reading, counting, and writing while emphasis on inclusive education supports children to overcome barriers to education, “including gender, disability, poverty, ethnicity, and language.” Inclusive education also means building sustainable and meaningful relationships with communities. UWS trains local teachers to work alongside government teachers. UWS coaches communities in governance, leadership, and school management, with the goal to transition each UWS school to community and government ownership within five to seven years.
UWS shares its triumphs on its website. Since its inception, UWS schools with 1,250 teachers have reached children in some of the most remote and marginalized regions of Cambodia, Myanmar, and Nepal. Twenty-eight schools have already transitioned into their respective national education systems. Student attendance rate is 90.4%, with 81% of primary school finishers moving on to secondary school. UWS has also positively impacted 131,300 parents and community members.
At present, 23,700 students are enrolled across all UWS schools. Since the advent of the COVID-19 crisis, 43,000 children have been reached through distance learning and 148,000 people reached with information and advice on how to stop the spread. Finally, 175 communities have benefited from upgraded handwashing facilities.
SEARCH loves to receive the latest news from the organization. In September 2021, O Rey School in Cambodia returned to on-site learning, and its 168 students are doing well!
UWS intends to reach 250,000 primary-school-aged children across the globe with a life-changing education within the next ten years. Donors should know that for every U.S. dollar or British pound, 86% goes directly to vital charitable activities moving towards the mission, and 14% goes to fundraising. UWS has determined it costs £75 U.K. or $100.18 U.S. to educate a child for a year.
Towards the end of 2021, UWS launched its operations in a fourth country, Madagascar, and is now busy building five schools for about 1,000 children in one of the poorest countries in the world. The organization has just established an office in Washington, D.C., significantly increasing its presence in the U.S. The UK-based organization has also appointed a new Chief Executive Dhivya O’Connor in November 2021. Dhivya succeeds Tim Howarth, who led the successful organization for 10 years! UWS says,
A passionate advocate for the power of education, Dhivya brings an impressive track-record of growing organisations in the not-for-profit and commercial sectors to UWS.
Senior Consultant David Cope comments:
All of us in Search Associates are increasingly proud of our close partnership with such an inspirational, effective and life-enhancing education charity. We would encourage all friends of Search Associates to become friends of UWS too.