Almost 60 million primary school-aged children aren’t in school, according to the United Nations. Some of them, girls especially, have to stay at home to help take care of siblings and collect water; others have to go to work to help support their family; some live too far from the nearest school; others can’t afford to pay for school fees or buy a uniform. These children are not getting the basic education they need to become empowered adults who can support their families and their communities out of poverty. When children are educated, they are armed with the courage and self-confidence to better themselves and their families, their communities, and ultimately the next generation. They learn how to prevent illness and improve overall health, build and maintain infrastructure, manage personal and professional relationships, understand and advocate for basic rights, and secure a livelihood. And these tools help pull families and communities out of the cycle of poverty. Because education is so important, it’s the cornerstone of Free The Children’s WE Villages model, and the foundation on which all our programs rest.