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Canva partners with Australia for UNHCR to help refugee children

3 min read

Australian design platform Canva backs Australia for UNHCR with US$250,000 donation to support refugee education – UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Ben Stiller will lend his voice to support the campaign.

Australia for UNHCR’s National Director, Naomi Steer, said investing in refugee education had wide-reaching and long-term positive impacts.

“Education is one of the most powerful tools we’ve got to help refugees become self-sufficient and give back to their communities,” she said. “It helps build the foundations so refugee children can thrive, not just survive. The disruption caused by displacement and now coronavirus means a whole generation of refugee children are at risk of missing out on school, and slipping even further behind.”

This partnership with Canva could not come at a more opportune time, Steer said, and it means more refugee children who have been through traumatic displacement will be able to access safe school environments and quality teaching and learning.

In a world where displacement situations last an average of 20 years, UNHCR’s most recent education report, Coming Together For Refugee Education, shows 48 per cent of school-aged refugee children are out of school.

Canva’s Head of Social Impact, Robyn King, visited Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya with Naomi Steer earlier this year to learn about the educational and social challenges facing refugee children.

“Empowering refugee children to access quality education with support from the Canva Foundation is one of the best ways we believe we can help enact meaningful, lasting change,” she said. “A guiding principle of Canva’s is to ‘Be a Force for Good’, and with the incredible work that UNHCR coordinates for refugee education projects, we feel the missions of our two organisations are well-aligned.”

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, works to ensure access to education within the first three months of displacement to foster social cohesion, deliver life-saving knowledge and address psychosocial needs – ensuring young refugees are less likely to succumb to negative aspects of long-term displacement, such as violence and child labour.

This commitment is the start of a larger partnership between Canva and UNHCR, which will include the Design For A Cause campaign, targeting Canva’s 40 million monthly active users.

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Ben Stiller is using his voice to support this campaign.

“All children deserve to play, go to school and realise their dreams. For refugee children these things are all too often out of reach. I’ve seen firsthand the difference education can make for these children, and I’m proud to be part of this campaign,” he said.

“Design for a Cause invites people to be creative while showing their support for refugees and helping them access education. Working together we can make a difference and aim to put smiles on the faces of refugee youth around the world.”

Australia for UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency’s national partner in Australia, raising much needed funds and support for refugees and other displaced and stateless people around the world. Founded in 2000, the organisation has raised more than AU$300 million to support UNHCR’s global humanitarian operations – making it one of the top 10 private sector donors to the UN Refugee Agency, ahead of many governments. Australians wanting to support the UN Refugee Agency can donate online at www.unrefugees.org.au or call 1300 361 288.

Canva is an online platform that makes designing easy, for every individual and team. Today, over 60,000 non-profits use Canva to promote their cause and raise funds, striving towards incredibly important goals, from ending poverty to curing cancer, providing quality education and solving homelessness.

Design For A Cause: Canva and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, are asking people to share drawings of one thing that makes them smile, with the most inspiring drawings from across the globe being transformed into graphics, which will be for sale on Canva for approximately US$1 each.

All proceeds will be donated to UNHCR education programs:

· $5 can pay for a child’s school backpack

· $13 can pay for a child’s school fees for a month

· $80 can pay a teacher’s salary for one month



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