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Education and Income

Education is a key factor in the eradication of poverty. Caritas Switzerland promotes early childhood and basic education for poor children and supports young or disadvantaged people in gaining a foothold in the world of work and earning their own living.


Without education, no-one can escape poverty. Yet in developing regions, more than a quarter of children in school do not complete primary school. 57 million children worldwide never even go to primary school, and only 12 percent have access to Early Childhood Education. Caritas is actively engaged in improving access to education: It supports pupils from poor and disadvantaged families with regard to the facilitation of learning, expenses for transport, school fees, school uniforms, materials and food. It trains teachers to improve the quality of the schools, invests in school infrastructures and reconstructs schools after disasters. Caritas also supports public authorities and communities in ensuring that school lessons take account of the needs of disadvantaged children so they can reach the educational objectives at the end of the school year.

Children who have to cope with physical and social disadvantage or harrowing experiences have difficulties retrieving their learning potential. That is why Caritas supports the psychosocial care of children who are traumatised or have to cope with toxic stress. Caritas uses an innovative pedagogical approach (essence of learning) which combines psychosocial activities with learning. This helps the children to make up for delays in their development already at pre-school age. Children who are in primary school can bridge their learning gaps and develop self-confidence, so they successfully master their stressful school days thanks to positive learning strategies.

However, a primary school education alone is not enough to build an independent life. For this reason, Caritas Switzerland focuses on the practical capabilities of people with little or no vocational training. This takes account of the local labour market, so that the students have job prospects when they have completed their education. In addition, Caritas supports young and disadvantaged people to organise themselves in cooperatives and start their own small enterprises.

Young people are the future. Every investment  in their education will pay off several times over, not only for them but for society as a whole, too. 


Selected Education and Income Projects


Further information

  • Flyer : Education & Income
    File format: pdf / 323 KB
    Having access to education and vocational training is a human right. With our programmes, we aim to improve access to education and the learning biography of poor and marginalised people by promoting inclusive early childhood and basic education. Furthermore, we implement inclusive and non-formal vocational education and training in combination with inputs on employability and entrepreneurship as an investment in income generation. Download
  • Excerpt IC Programme 2020: Education & Income
    File format: pdf / 319 KB
    Education has always been a central concern of development cooperation. From a social point of view, education and vocational training are prerequisites for the eradication of poverty. They are the drivers of economic, political and social development. At the level of the individual, they contribute to human development, equality of opportunity and participation in the various social spheres (see Chapter 2 Foundations / Social Inclusion). This is also expressed in the Agenda 2030. Consequently, ‘Education & Income’ focuses on SDG 4 (‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’) and SDG 8 (‘Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all’). Download

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