Building peace in the minds of men and women

The power of education. Stories from four continents

A migrant family in a refugee camp in Greece seizes upon education to move towards the future. A woman in Burkina Faso attends an evening literacy class to catch up on her missed education. A teacher devotes her life to educating children in an isolated mountain village in India. And an indigenous woman in Guatemala helps other girls fulfil their dreams as she did.

UNESCO selected these four stories to display in an exhibition at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during the months of July and August 2019.

Each story vividly brings to life the aspirations of Sustainable Development Goal 4 on education, which is part of the UNESCO-led Education 2030 Agenda, which sets a range of targets to improve access to and the quality of education worldwide.

The experiences portrayed capture how individuals across the globe are advancing this ambitious agenda.

Good quality education has the power to change the life of a person, a community and the future of the planet. It is a fundamental human right of every woman, man and child – no matter who and where they are. 

#EducationTransformsLives. Every day. Throughout the world.

The exhibition is organized in partnership with Education Above All,  the Qatar Foundation, the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations as well as the co-chairs of the Group of Friends and Lifelong Learning (Argentina, Czech Republic, Japan, Kenya and Norway).


  • Just one additional year of school can boost lifetime earnings by 10 per cent
  • Maternal deaths would shrink by two thirds if all mothers completed primary education
  • Child marriage could be virtually eliminated by universal secondary education
  • 12.3 million less children would suffer stunting if mothers completed secondary education 
  • One year more of education for a population can increase GDP from 2 to 5%
  • Data from 36 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America show education boosts voting
  • Each extra year of school decreases young boys' risk of involvement in conflict by 20%
  • Higher education levels equals greater activism against climate change

Stories from four continents