Lynda Eunice Nakaibale, member of the SDG4Youth Network and the Global Youth Initiative, attended the High-Level Financing Conference on 16 and 17 February in Geneva, Switzerland.

The conference was organised by Education Cannot Wait, the UN global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises. Lynda, 28, made her way from Uganda to ensure the commitments made at the Transforming Education Summit, held in September 2022, would be funded and translated into concrete actions.

“I’m here to speak for myself and youth across the globe, but most importantly I’m here to speak for the millions of girls in emergencies who were not able to come, those who cannot go to school and those who struggle to finish their studies,” shared Lynda.

At 16, Lynda had to leave school because her family's income had been spent on her brother's education. Lynda eventually managed to complete her education. However, her experience filled her with a feeling of injustice, and she has since dedicated her life to encouraging girls, families, and local authorities to stand up for girls' right to education.

At the conference, Lynda co-moderated the session “Building on the Transforming Education Summit”. “I was calling for intersectional approaches,” Lynda explained. “When we talk about education in emergencies, girls and boys are affected differently. Also, it’s one thing to go to school and it’s another to stay in school. We need to address all barriers impeding educational access and retention of children and youth in emergencies, such as gender discrimination, poverty, displacement and disability discrimination.”

During the session, Lynda spoke about the post-Summit actions, including supporting the Global Youth Initiative, and leaving no child behind in emergency situations.

After two days of sessions, 17 donors pledged over 826 million USD to support the education of 222 million children living in crises. A promising step to ensure access to quality education to the most vulnerable. Lynda concluded: “I want to make sure voices from the ground are heard. I also want the world to know that youth are acting globally; our engagement is meaningful, creative, and innovative. Let’s face it - to transform education, we need financial resources. At the end of this conference, I feel hopeful and optimistic to see that donors and key actors are ready to support the transformation.”




Thematic Focus Area 1: Inclusive, equitable, safe and healthy schools 4.5 Gender equality and inclusion 4.7 Education for sustainable development and global citizenship Global Youth Initiative Story Uganda Switzerland