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    Giving Through Education

    This holiday season, as the Center for Public Service focuses on the topic of giving to yourself or others through the gift of education, we are spotlighting the work of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its efforts to help countries in need develop their education systems and programs.

    In 1961, President John F. Kennedy created USAID by executive order. It was the first U.S. government agency responsible for foreign economic development. Over the years, USAID has expanded its focus to provide development assistance to help countries fulfill basic human needs, including food and nutrition, population planning, health, education, and human resources development.

    Education is an important focus of USAID and it recognizes the importance of a good education. According to USAID’s government website, “A good education is the key to a better life and a stronger economy. A person’s earnings increase by 10 percent with each year of school they complete…increasing the average level of higher education in a country by just one year can add half a percentage point of growth to GDP.”*

    USAID has developed strategies to improve education in countries in need or are going through a major crisis. Countries that are financially struggling or have political and social conflicts have several barriers to education. USAID’s education strategy aims to reduce these barriers by focusing on:

    • Improving reading skills in primary schools for children to master these skills
    • Helping strengthen higher education and workforce development programs for young people
    • Expanding access to education to reduce inequality
    • Fostering innovation in education to improve the analysis of education data and integrating new technologies such as mobile phones and tablets to improve literacy

    Education can make a positive impact on a country’s economic and social development which can lead to future political or economic stability. By giving people an education and improving their access to education, people can acquire or develop important skills required to work and countries can increase their literacy rates. USAID understands the importance of an education in the lives of people and strives to meet goals that will improve the lives of others around the world through education.

    Students enrolled in one of our degree programs in education or human services, or anyone interested in learning more about USAID’s education strategy, should visit https://www.usaid.gov/education. You can also visit http://www.usaid.gov/work-usaid to see if there are any opportunities available for you to work or partner with the USAID.

    If you’d like to see an example of how one project supported by USAID is making a difference in the lives of orphans in Ethiopia, click on the following link to see a video about School Community Partnership Serving HIV/AIDS Affected Orphans and Vulnerable Children (SCOPSO) project: http://www.usaid.gov/news-information/videos/school-community-partnerships-better-tomorrow


    *United States Agency for International Development. (2013). “Education”. Retrieved from             http://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/education on November 12, 2013.

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