News — January 30, 2020

Formal or Non-Formal, Education is the Key to Success

Written by: Diana Sussman Tockstein, Partnership Manager

Quality education has the power to change a life, a community and inevitably our world. Unfortunately, receiving a quality education is not a guarantee depending on your community and the government resources available. This is why non-formal education became part of the international discourse on education policy in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Non-formal education takes place outside of the typical educational institution, but still acknowledges the importance of education, learning and training. This type of education can be seen as lifelong learning.

As an active youth leader organization that prides itself on creating lifelong learning experiences for our members, Junior Chamber International (JCI) was invited to the World Non-Formal Education Forum hosted by the World Scouting Organization. To be invited is to be an active youth leader in an international sphere, and to be an active partner of the World Scouting Organization. With this event being the first of its kind, World Scouting partnered with more than 70 international groups, youth sector leaders and United Nations entities to explore how organizations can keep pace with the latest trends in non-formal education and take action for sustainable development.

While attending, JCI was asked to host a breakout session for Creating Sustainable Impact.  In this session, I educated attendees on the Active Citizen Framework and how using this framework can help young people solve complex problems that create sustainable impact all around the world. At this event, I was able to meet many active young citizens who resonated with the JCI Mission as we discussed the amazing tools we have to offer JCI members, including the Active Citizen Framework. One of the most beneficial things I learned during this forum was how we must put more focus on the non-formal education sector in order to achieve the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. I also learned about the diversity in the phrase, non-formal education. Many of the activities and conversations with young leaders from across the globe showed me the importance of prioritizing non-formal education.

This event was hosted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and was attended by over 400 active citizens with over 40% of the attendees being under the age of 30. The main outcome of this event was the Rio Declaration on Non-Formal Education—an ambitious action agenda capturing the ideas and inputs of stakeholders at the event to lay out the foundation and define a direction for the future of non-formal education. The Rio Declaration calls for the recognition of the right to non-formal education, increased recognition, more innovative learning methods, greater investment, and stronger partnerships. This call to action will continue to empower millions of young people around the world, specifically JCI members, to take action toward non-formal education.If you are interested in learning more about the Rio Declaration and the World Non-Formal Education event, visit:

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