Sony Corporation of America, on behalf of Sony Group Corporation (“Sony”) and its affiliates in the Americas, has announced a $1 million donation to support UNICEF’s Learning Passport, helping millions of children and their families affected by the crisis in Ukraine and neighbouring countries access education.
UNICEF’s Learning Passport provides children, young people and teachers with online and offline quality, portable educational resources. The program first launched in Ukraine in 2020 and rapidly expanded in February 2022 in response to the crisis and its impact on children’s learning.
Sony’s funds will help ensure children and teachers have access to educational and supplemental content, including curated and localized mental health content and social-emotional learning via the Learning Passport. These resources help children, young people and their families cope with stress and trauma caused by emergencies.
“More countries are gripped by conflict today than at any time in the past thirty years,” said Karen Kelso, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Impact, Sony Corporation of America. “We are proud to further support UNICEF and the Learning Passport, which provides crucial support to children and young people impacted by emergencies that threaten or destroy access to food, shelter, social support, health care and education.”
“UNICEF is on the frontlines to ensure children whose education has been disrupted by conflict, natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies can continue to learn,” said Mac Glovinsky, UNICEF Learning Passport Global Program Chief. “Thanks to our continued partnership with Sony, we will be able to provide innovative digital solutions like the Learning Passport to respond to the immediate educational needs of those impacted by the war in Ukraine.”
The crisis in Ukraine is having a dramatic impact on the lives and futures of Ukraine’s 5.7 million school-aged children. The estimated 2.2 million Ukrainian children who have sought refuge in neighboring countries require support to integrate into new education systems to continue their education. Access to digitally-enabled learning solutions has been one of the key interventions to ensure continuous access to formal and non-formal education, enabling students in Ukraine and refugee children in neighboring countries to continue and complete their education based on the Ukrainian curriculum, while facilitating integration into education systems of hosting countries.
“Getting children back to learning is a critical step in restoring normalcy in their lives — and in recovering their learning after months of war and years of COVID-19 disruption,” said Alberto Biancoli, UNICEF’s interim Regional Chief of Education for Europe and Central Asia. “For some children, this may mean a traditional classroom. For many others, it may mean online learning at home, or non-formal learning centers. Reaching every child, assessing their learning gaps, and ensuring they can catch up on lost learning is one of UNICEF’s top priorities for Ukraine’s children.”
The impacts of school closures, compounded with the challenges of adapting to new school environments, are likely to affect the learning outcomes of Ukraine’s children and force countless students out of education. It is urgent to act now and ensure a rapid education response through the Learning Passport ahead of the upcoming school year 2022-2023.
Launched in 2018, the Learning Passport currently reaches more than 2.3 million learners in 26 countries and territories including Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, Egypt, Jordan, Kosovo, Nigeria, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe. Plans to roll the program out in an additional 25 countries and territories are currently underway. The platform underwent significant expansion in 2020 to respond to the disruption to children’s learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In October 2020, Sony Corporation of America, on behalf of Sony’s affiliates in the Americas, supported the rollout of the Learning Passport in Latin America and the Caribbean to ensure access to high-quality education, both online and offline, for children and young people across the region.
In November 2020, the Learning Passport was recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Projects of 2020 by The Project Management Institute, and in 2021 TIME named the Learning Passport one of the best 100 inventions of the year.
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