‘We do not stop at anything’ – How Formula 1’s partnership with UNICEF could help 6.5 million children
No child should go without a quality education but sadly, across the world, there is a growing learning crisis. To help tackle this issue, and make change for the better, Formula 1 has partnered with UNICEF to help the world’s most vulnerable children access quality education.
The support from Formula 1 over the next three years could help an estimated 6.5 million children from vulnerable and marginalised communities, including accessing key subjects such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). F1’s backing will also enable UNICEF to provide temporary learning places for children in emergencies.
According to UNICEF’s State of Global Learning Poverty 2022 update, 70 per cent of the world’s 10-year-olds are estimated to lack basic literacy skills. That sums up the challenges ahead, with limited access to digital devices and the internet – as well as the turbulence of the Covid-19 pandemic – some of the hurdles that stand in the way.
That’s where UNICEF’s Learning Passport comes in – an online, mobile and offline platform that enables continuous access to quality education. Delivered by UNICEF and powered by Microsoft Community Training, the platform prioritises deployment in places with intermittent or no internet access.
So often, these are the areas where children are unable to access education tools and learn the crucial skills they need.
Moving forward, Formula 1 will be helping UNICEF to expand the Learning Passport to more than 40 countries, bridging the digital divide for 4.5 million learners. The partnership will also help launch a new offline version for children who have little or no internet access in Mexico and Brazil.
Formula 1 and UNICEF will also come together at the British Grand Prix to highlight the importance of this partnership, with fans having the chance to get involved and show their support to the cause.
UNICEF volunteers will be stationed throughout the Fan Zone and Paddock to collect donations, with fans also able to donate by clicking here or by scanning one of the interactive donation posters in the Fan Zone and Paddock or the fundraising video that will be played on all fan-facing big screens over the Grand Prix weekend and via social media.
“We believe that Formula 1 and its global committed fanbase can be vital in helping UNICEF support children wherever they are, and to overcome this learning crisis,” says Mac Glovinsky, the Learning Passport Global Programme Chief.
He adds: “Right now, to be a child is to live in one of the most dangerous times in history. There are wars, pandemics, famines, and there are droughts. It's really, really tough.”
‘Our biggest priority is that children are learning’
At UNICEF’s Learning Passport, the only thing that matters is that children are learning – no matter who or where they are. It’s a responsibility Glovinsky takes incredibly seriously in his role as the global chief so that no child is let down.
“Personally, the learning passport means impact to me,” he says. “We're using some of the newest technologies in the world to break down barriers that limit children's access to education.
“In doing this, we solve a lot of problems. Some of the biggest challenges that children face are access to learning services in a lot of different places. So, we meet children where they are with learning opportunities.
“At UNICEF’s Learning Passport, our biggest priority is that children are learning – and we work as hard as possible to not let them down.”
Formula 1’s partnership with UNICEF is aimed at providing children with skills to open up all manner of doors in their future lives and prospects.
“Formula 1's commitment comes at a time when millions of children continue to miss out on school and lack access to technology that [could be used by] them to learn and flourish in the world,” Glovinsky adds.
“UNICEF works around the clock to improve access to learning for marginalised children, and increasing skills in areas such as science and technology, and providing learning places for children in emergency, as well as improving access, especially digitally.
“We believe that Formula 1 and its global, committed fanbase can be vital in helping UNICEF support children wherever they are, and to overcome this learning crisis.”
‘We do not stop at anything’
A key element of the partnership between Formula 1 and UNICEF will allow for the expansion of the Learning Passport into the F1-hosting countries of Mexico and Brazil, allowing even more children to be reached. With the initiative now operating around the globe, the impact of that cannot be underestimated.
“As the chief of the Learning Passport, it's a privilege to have gotten to meet some of the people that we work with,” Glovinsky says. “I was in Lebanon where I met a community of young people who told me that they wanted to learn and that they needed more access to the content and the Learning Passport. So, we worked with them to make sure that that was a reality.
“In Syria, we worked to empower children and teachers that are faced with overlapping emergencies. It's one of the hardest places and our job is to bring learning to all children, no matter where they are.
“In the Philippines, we’re working in some very remote places like the Dinagat Islands, in southern Leyte, to deliver digital learning, even if they don't have access to the internet.
“Wherever we are, children are demanding education and what we do through the Learning Passport is to answer that call. We do not stop at anything, and I know that I will never give up.”
‘I would like to thank the F1 community for coming together’
This is a mission that needs to be heard loud and clear by those across the globe – a child’s education is simply invaluable to their future. It’s also a message reiterated by Jon Sparkes, the Chief Executive of the UK Committee for UNICEF.
“The world is facing a growing learning crisis, with millions of children continuing to miss out on school and access to the technology they need to learn and flourish,” he says. “Investment in education is fundamental to the development of children and young people, and to building the societies and economies they need for the future.
“UNICEF believes that sports play a unique role in bringing people together, helping us to address the biggest issues affecting children, including those caught up in humanitarian emergencies. This Grand Prix, I would like to thank the F1 community for coming together to raise much-needed funds towards our work for children, so that more children have access to quality learning and the skills training they need to succeed in school, work and life.“
F1 fans can also play their own part and donate to UNICEF’s vital work, with 100 per cent of the donations going to their work in education and emergencies. You can donate by clicking here and, as mentioned above, volunteers will be stationed throughout the Fan Zone and Paddock at the 2023 British Grand Prix to collect donations. Information cabins will be present within the Fan Zone too, for those wishing to find out more.
“My dream is that every child has access to quality education, no matter where they are, no matter who they are, no matter what's happened to their home, no matter what's happened to their community, and whatever challenges they face outside of school,” Glovinsky adds.
“I believe that with the support of the F1 community, we can do it.”
Please help with a donation today so more children can have the opportunity to reach their full potential by clicking here.