The global number of forcibly displaced persons – refugees and internally displaced persons – reached another record high of almost 70.8 million men, women and children by the end of 2018. The root causes of most of today's conflicts are manifold: political, economic, ethnic, religious extremism, the struggle for identity, and repression. In most cases, the poorest and conflict-riddled regions of our world are also some of the areas with the lowest levels of human development, according to the Human Development Index.
Education is a key instrument and indicator of development, economic growth, peace, and is the foundation for building peaceful and open societies. And yet, the poor and many other socially and geographically marginalised communities have little or no access to education, especially higher education. Only 3 per cent of refugees have access to higher education. We believe that education, forming open-minded, critical-thinking men and women who care for and give back to their communities, fosters hope. Investing in education is investing in peace and the development of humanity – which our world is in dire need of.
The countries with a low human development Index (UNDP), which is below 0.7 out of 1 are shown in the map presented. The people in these many countries are not just suffering from a low per-capita income, from a low life expectancy and from a low average number of years in school. But many of these countries do suffer from great political volatility, dictatorship and repression and conflicts.
The simple conclusive formula ‘low education – high conflict’ gives some important insight in the root causes of conflicts and forced displacement and poverty and migration in our world. Lack of education and a low level of knowledge, skills and educated leadership are not just a principle root cause, but the result of conflicts. Dictators and wars attack first of all the education systems, destroy schools, drive girls out of schools and drive the educated elite away. Wars are often about education and attacking education.
The strategy of JWL is to make higher education accessible to those who are losing out on it and who have a deep interest and motivation to bring about changes, to transform the world into a more peaceful and humane space.
JWL works on the “frontiers” in the pursuit of faith through the promotion of justice, dynamically nurturing cultural and interreligious dialogue and reconciliation. JWL’s motto seeks to foster a community of global learners committed to “Learning Together to Transform the World”.
To achieve the greatest impact for transformational change locally and regionally, JWL works in communities such as refugee camps, rural villages and towns. JWL takes also a regional approach having in one region or country several community learning centers. This way JWL students and graduates have a critical number to make a difference one day. The core regional areas are Middle East - Iraq, Jordan, Afghanistan, Africa, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
JWL focuses on the countries with a low human development where most of the people live at the margins in their countries and our world. JWL is working closely with local partners to bring educational programs that meet their specific needs - enhancing our students’ ability to positively impact their community by
It is said, that one JWL student touches the life of about two hundred people in their community.