Investments in quality child care and education pay significant returns to children – our future leaders – and ensure that they become empowered and exceptional leaders of tomorrow.
First Ladies from around the world will convene in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Oct 11-13 to launch a global initiative to empower children to lead change.
The theme of the Summit is “A Child Today, A Leader Tomorrow” and it will focus attention on ways in which families, communities and governments can work together to uncover the potential in every child.
The First Ladies Summit 2010 will be a groundbreaking collaboration of more than 20 women who have the unique capacity to inspire change and channel efforts towards improving the lives of their nation’s children, and that of their families and communities.
They will come together in the spirit of cooperation to engage in dialogue sessions on enriching the formative years, empowering children with life skills and creating enabling environments that can nurture leaders. They will identify and establish joint platforms for action in areas of formal and non-formal education, and children’s rights.
In line with the Millennium Development Goals, world leaders have promised that every child will go to school by 2015. Education can make the biggest difference between the success and failure of society. It provides the opportunity to break out of poverty and ensures better health and welfare for marginalised populations. It is expected, therefore, that education and its impact on improving lives will be discussed at length at the Summit.
Investing in quality childhood development programmes and formal education for all children will allow socio-economic integration at all levels of society. These efforts towards a sustainable world will involve participation from leaders and governments, as well as communities and families.
Here is where the First Ladies can play an enormous role. They can promote best practice and inspire their nations and its people to put in place programmes and initiatives that will allow all of its children to reap the full benefits of education and its ability to develop confident and creative individuals.
Preceding the Summit will be a meeting of senior ministers and top government officials. Their discussion sessions which will be moderated by international experts will form the basis for a draft declaration for consideration and adoption by the First Ladies.
Together, the distinguished participants of the First ladies Summit 2010 hope to set the wheels of collaboration in motion to ensure every country invests in the future of its children and boosts them into leadership roles that will change their lives and that of their community, and open the doors to a bright future for their nations.
SOME SOBERING STATISTICS
▪ Around the world, 114 million children do not get a basic education.
▪ Globally, there are 774 million illiterate adults.
▪ 200 million children under five are seriously neglected.
▪ Every year, 11 million children die-most under the age of five and more than six million from completely preventable causes like malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia.
▪ Every day, 300 million children go to bed hungry. Out of this number, only eight percent are victims of famine or other emergency situations.