Press release: Education Above All Foundation launches the “Zero” education project with the Ministry of Education and Save the Children to enroll all out-of-school children in Rwanda in primary education

Friday 8 September 2023

8 September, 2023 (Kigali, Rwanda) – Today, the global Education Above All (EAA) Foundation and UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate announced a partnership aimed at providing quality primary education to every remaining out-of-school child (OOSC) in Rwanda.

A framework agreement was signed between EAA and the government of Rwanda in 2021 to ensure Zero OOSC. EAA’s Educate A Child programme and Save the Children have partnered on a new project in the country, targeting the hardest-to-reach OOSC. This agreement builds on the achievements made by the Government of Rwanda and its partners in recent years. Due to their sustained efforts, the number of children needing to be enrolled in school is only approximately 177,000.

During the launch, Rwanda’s Minister of State for Education, Hon. Claudette Irere, reiterated the significance of education to all and demonstrated the Government’s efforts towards the initiative.

"One of our major priorities is access to quality Education, leaving no child behind and ensuring their retention, transition, and completion throughout the Education system. This partnership complements our ongoing efforts of ensuring that no child drops out of school. We look forward to a successful collaboration.”

Launched in 2019, EAA’s Zero OOSC approach aligns with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4: quality and inclusive education for all. Aiming to inspire other nations, EAA works with a number of countries to ensure each and every child can access education. To date, Rwanda is the fourth country to sign up to the Zero OOSC approach.

In many countries, barriers including poverty, discrimination, challenging geographies, conflict, and climate change prevent children from going to school. The Rwanda project design places a particular emphasis on support for children with disabilities. These children represent just 0.6% of the children enrolled in primary school, but account for 8.3% of the total population.

To help Rwandan children reach their potential, the newly launched joint project will engage and empower communities as advocates and supporters. Data will be collected and methods enhanced to find and identify children who are out of school, including in remote areas of the country.

Commenting on this project, Dr Mary Joy Pigozzi, Executive Director of EAA Foundation’s Educate A Child programme, says:

“This partnership with Save the Children offers concrete opportunities to Rwanda’s children who have been left out of education. We thank the government of Rwanda, whose commitment will ensure that every single out-of-school girl and boy is given a chance to learn and thrive. Rwanda is one of the top-performing countries in sub-Saharan Africa when it comes to education. By enrolling all children and reaching ZERO in Rwanda, we are fostering equal opportunities, combating poverty, and nurturing future leaders.”

As a partner in the Zero Out-of-School Children Project, Save the Children will build on its decades of experience delivering quality education by engaging families to improve access and learning for the hardest to reach children. The Save the Children team in Rwanda in conjunction with the Ministry of Education will identify and enroll out-of-school children, track their attendance, provide school hubs and safe spaces to learn, and contribute to school feeding programs for families who can’t afford it, provide school supplies, increase accessibility through technology, and help children catch up through remedial classes and emotional support.  

Selected schools will also have resource rooms and disability-adapted materials for children with disabilities. Save the Children and the Ministry of Education will collaborate with multi-disciplinary committees and train teachers and educators to meet quality education standards.

Save the Children President and CEO Janti Soeripto said:

“For more than 100 years, Save the Children has been committed to helping children access education to reach their full potential. We are honored to work together with the Education Above All Foundation and the Ministry of Education of Rwanda to ensure all children, including those with disabilities, can go to school to learn and grow. As the world’s leading child rights organization, Save the Children has a responsibility to deliver programs inclusive of children with disabilities that maintain their dignity and secure their full, effective and equal participation.”

The global crisis of out-of-school children demands immediate attention. With over 67 million children denied the right to primary education worldwide, the Zero Out of School initiative is taking action to help ensure that inclusion overtakes exclusion, securing a brighter future for all.



For more information, contact:

Mohamed Al-Amri

Senior Media Relations Specialist

Education Above All


Mobile: +974 5000 9960


About the Education Above All (EAA) Foundation

The Education Above All (EAA) Foundation is a global foundation established in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. EAA Foundation aims to transform lives through education. We believe that education is the single most effective means of reducing poverty, creating peaceful and just societies, unlocking the full potential of every child and youth, and creating the right conditions to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Through our multi-sectoral approach, unique financing models, focus on innovation as a tool for social good, and partnerships, we aim to bring hope and real opportunities to the lives of impoverished and marginalised boys and girls.

EAA Foundation is comprised of the following programmes: Educate A Child (EAC), Al Fakhoora, Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC), Innovation Development (ID) and Together project.


About Save the Children

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we've been advocating for the rights of children worldwide. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming the future we share. Our resultsfinancial statements and charity ratings reaffirm that Save the Children is a charity you can trust. Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.