The National Education Union and the Cuba Solidarity Campaign in the UK launch a joint appeal to raise funds and supplies for schools in the Caribbean country.
London, 1 February 2022- The National Education Union (NEU) and the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) in the United Kingdom launched the Viva la Educación initiative to raise funds and supplies for Cuban schools today.
The project, also coordinated with the Union of Education, Science and Sports Workers of Cuba (SNTECD) and with the support of the Cuba Music Fund, aims to support the education system on the island in the face of shortages caused by the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States.
Speaking about this cruel policy that dates back 60 years, NEU president, Daniel Kebede, stated that it impacts all areas of life for the Cuban people and is the greatest obstacle to education services in the country. He recalled that although Cuba spends more of its GDP (10% in 2015) on education compared to other nations, the US blockade means that many items are not accessible or are more expensive due to increased transportation costs.
For his part, CSC director Rob Miller highlighted that education, along with healthcare, are two pillars of the Cuban Revolution that are currently suffering the double impact of the tightening of the blockade and the Covid-19. He emphasized that it is important to understand the relationship between the shortage of supplies for schools in Cuba and Washington's unilateral policy; therefore, the Viva la Educación initiative is an action of solidarity, not charity.
The online event was also attended by British educators. They shared their experiences of previous visits to Cuba as members of NEU delegations and highlighted the island's educational achievements despite the obstacles imposed by the blockade. Likewise, a Cuban English teacher also gave an account on how this policy affects her daily activities.
Also present on behalf of the Embassy of Cuba in the United Kingdom were Michel Rodríguez, First Secretary in charge of Academic affairs, and Aymée Díaz, Second Secretary for Political affairs.
The Viva la Educación initiative is preceded by other successful experiences such as Play for Cuba, which sent two full shipping containers with more than 4,000 musical instruments to Cuba in 2019, and the Braille Machines for Cuba appeal, which delivered more than 45 machines to schools for the blind and visually impaired children.