As the downtown Boise photography exhibit on refugees shows, Idaho is no stranger to the refugee community. What most of us might not be aware of is that over 3 million refugee children worldwide are missing out on an education as their families are forced to flee violence and forgo schooling. Without an education, these children’s current situation can turn into a life sentence of missed opportunity. If this issue is ignored, we could face a generation of illiterate adults. Reduced economic productivity and increased instability are likely consequences. As our children go back to school, we should ask for the same opportunity for refugee children. At the upcoming Refugee Summit on Sept. 20, I call on President Obama to work with other world leaders and commit to a plan that ensures all refugee children can get an education, starting with one million children this school year.
Ali Escalante, Boise