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Date: 12 Sep UNESCO Bangkok | Story Source: UNESCO ~ Go to Original Article

“A pencil is one of the most concrete thing that can empower a girl to learn when there is no schools nearby, only old textbooks available and few qualified teachers.” Kristen was one of the few at #KCONLA2018 to believe pencils are a foundation for girls’ education.

The majority of the CJ-UNESCO girls’ education campaign booth participants chose “school” or “teacher” when asked which of the following four they would most support to help girls get an education: school, teacher, textbook, pencil. It seems like an obvious choice. It can also seem like an impossible one because each of these stand as foundations to help girls access a quality education.

Girls around the world still face many challenges that hinder their right to a quality education. Too many will never set foot in a classroom. UNESCO and CJ Group have been working together through the “Bright Girls, Brighter Future!” campaign to help widen every girl’s chance to receive an education. This means a school with the appropriate infrastructure for a supportive learning environment; a teacher who is qualified to motivate girls to keep learning; a textbook that is updated and gender-sensitive and a simple pencil without which girls may not write, read and learn.

As part of UNESCO’s partnership with CJ, girls’ education was brought forward on occasion of the KCON event in Los Angeles (KCON LA) both on-site and online to raise awareness on the importance of girls’ education. Over 3,000 girls and boys, women and men, attending KCON LA from 10 to 12 August took part in the interactive activities held at the CJ-UNESCO girls’ education campaign booth. Attendees were sensitised to the challenges hindering girls’ access to quality education and invited to contribute to helping girls’ become empowered through education.

During the KCON LA concerts on 11 and 12 August, a video about the UNESCO-CJ partnership and the Girls’ Education Campaign was aired on the screens of the Staples Center, housing about 96,000 attendees this year, to showcase the work UNESCO and CJ Group have been doing together to promote girls’ right to education and provide girls with a brighter future.

In addition to the on-site activities and video, an online event “CJ-UNESCO Girls’ Education x KCON(link is external)” ran the week leading to KCON LA to reach online audiences. For every click by online participants, KCON LA artists donated 10 cents to the campaign. A total of 101,015 clicks were registered. Popular K-POP bands and artists also showcased their commitment to the Girls’ Education campaign to raise awareness on the importance of girls’ education.

“As a result of our Girls’ Education advocacy work at KCON LA and through our online event, we have been able to sensitise over 100,000 people and have raised USD 13,500 to support girls’ education,” said Ji Sung Min, senior manager of Global CSV at CJ Group. “This campaign is powerful in boosting peer advocacy; I have seen teenagers here at KCON LA being made aware of this important issue in a fun and entertaining way. We look forward to continuing to support girls’ education in collaboration with UNESCO and through our cultural platforms as we believe it is an important cause.”

“All girls should have the right to go to school, even if that means building it from the ground up,” stressed a booth participant. UNESCO and CJ are collaborating precisely to inspire and engage girls and boys around the world to build a world where girls’ are educated and empowered to become what they dream to be in life and lead a better, brighter future.

KCON(link is external) is a global Korean convention hosted annually by CJ Group(link is external) across various countries around the world gathering over 100,000 attendees. It promotes Korean culture and music, and is a tremendous platform to raise awareness on issues such as girls’ education by engaging popular K-POP artists and KCON participants alike.

Since 2014, the UNESCO-CJ partnership aims to provide a better educational environment and a brighter future for girls through education. CJ group is also a major contributor to the UNESCO Malala Fund for Girls’ Right to Education, which expands girls’ access to quality education, especially in countries affected by conflict and disaster.


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