Who are we?
OUR NETWORK, AT THE CROSSROADS OF THE HEALTH AND EDUCATION SECTORS…
The Education and Solidarity Network is an international non-profit association, created in 2009 by the MGEN (Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale), Education International (EI), International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies (IAM), and with the support of the International Labour Office (ILO).
This network aims to build bridges between education and health actors, in order to work for the health, well-being and social protection of the education community worldwide.
Today, the Education and Solidarity Network brings together 40 member organizations from the education, health and social protection sectors on 5 continents.
The range of members of the ESN is diverse and representative of our interdisciplinary origin: education unions, health mutual benefit societies, cooperatives, youth associations, research centers, universities and individuals. While they may have very different regulations and functioning rules, they still hold shared values: democracy and solidarity.
Our members are active in two areas of focus:
- The promotion of health and well-being in schools
- The development of social protection systems based on solidarity and the mutualist movement
Our approach is in line with at least four of the seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:
In the Education and Solidarity Network, we believe that education and health are interdependent and at the heart of all human development. Health and well-being are vital components in building quality education systems as quality education is essential for any individual or group to achieve « a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being ». That’s what we believe in and the reason why our organisation was founded in 2009.
In the ESN, when we talk about health in school, we’re talking about student health, which is a great vehicle for development, but we’re also talking about the health and well-being of education personnel. It’s one of the reasons that makes our organisation so unique.
We believe that a stagnating quality of life and emerging health problems among education personnel can lead to a loss of resources and consequently impact on education quality. We affirm that the health and well-being of education staff is a fundamental part of students’ educational success.
Finally, we believe that social protection is a fundamental factor in health and well-being. This protection must be collective, inclusive and based on solidarity. This is a vital component in ensuring that as many people as possible have access to quality healthcare. And here too, the issue of education is essential. Education is key to fully grasping and supporting the concept of social protection and universal coverage against life risks. And what better ambassadors to advocate for this social protection culture than education personnel all over the world?
We believe that ESN members, mutual benefit societies and unions who fight for universal access to quality education and health systems should join forces and work with other actors who support solidarity, public services, and democracy, to ensure everyone can enjoy the inalienable and sacred rights inherent to human beings.
The Network is working to strengthen the links between education and health and promotes a multi-stakeholder, participatory and solidarity-based approach to promoting health and well-being for education communities.