Youth Perspective on G8 Aid to Africa

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Schooling efforts in parts of Africa take center stage in two recent Guardian multimedia stories on the lack of debt relief for African youth.

As Bono’s One Campaign drums up support for debt cancellation, poverty relief and AIDS medication in Africa, these stories take us into the homes and daily lives of a handful of Africans.

Focused on the efforts of the British relief fund organization Oxfam, the stories critique the G8’s lackluster attempts to assist the region since agreeing in 2005 to boost support to Africa by offering a close-up view of students’ lives in the small village of Mali.

Children, as detailed in two stories, sit on dirt floors and don’t always have pencils to write with. Water is several kilometers away by foot, and the nearest town is 10 hours by donkey. Improved schooling, Oxfam workers argue, provides much needed health education and practical skills like accounting, which would help local villagers better manage scarce resources and funds.

Sort of makes No Child Left Behind blunders look like child’s play by comparison.

—Gary Moskowitz

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