A column by Ann-Britt Johansson

Education - a shared responsibility

Education is a broad concept that involves everything from traditional education in a classroom to education when one person teaches a job or craft to another. In that sense, education is not only ABC or a course at the university. Education is ongoing everywhere, in different ways, all the time.

Peru is a wonderful country that has all the means to work towards a sustainable society, but for this to happen, we must all take responsibility. The reality is that about 1.5 million adults in Peru can not read and write and more than 8 million have not finished high school. Behind these figures hide many more people who lack basic knowledge such as reading and writing.

In the Dispurse Foundation we work with something called a systemic approach, in summary terms we try to consider that a sustainable society is built from an education that can contribute to development within all the areas that are vital to create a sustainable society. Not only do we teach reading, writing and counting, but we also focus on collaborating, educating and linking important actors in various socially useful areas, such as water, technology, culture and economics to create communities where our students can realize their dreams.

This brings me to the other concept, responsibility. In Peru there is a huge diversity, and the population lives in different societies, from the cultural, social and economic dimension. It is our responsibility not to leave our students after teaching them to read and write, but to stay and work so that society and the government have tools, through education, to care for their citizens in a sustainable manner. Working towards a sustainable society includes the idea that society can only develop if development exists on several levels. Therefore, each leader in each district must take responsibility for residents having access to education.

A society with a population that has access to education but does not have access to water does not make a difference. However, a society that sees as a shared responsibility taking care of the resources provided, protecting the environment so that all citizens can obtain clean water, ensuring that all people can receive attention and education at school is for us a sustainable society where every person has the opportunity to live his life and make active decisions.

We currently have approximately 2,000 active students who, through our Focus app, learn to read, write and count. My strong conviction is that knowledge is power and education is the way to a more sustainable, just and tolerant world.

Ann-Britt Johansson, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Dispurse