• Unesco, organisation des Nations Unies pour l'éducation la science et la culture
  • Sipa Press


An unprecedented photo report dedicated to children around the world

About the project

In May 1968, Gökşin Sipahioğlu, a pioneer of photojournalism and founder of SIPA PRESS, photographed two schoolboys climbing over the barricades in Paris during the student riots. The iconic moment captured by Sipahioğlu, where history interrupts the boys’ daily routine, became the symbol of a turning point for French society.

This picture was our inspiration for Journeys to School, a unique photographic investigation revealing the means by which children around the world access education and their resulting world view.

To bear witness to the powerful stories about how children travel to school, UNESCO, TRANSDEV and SIPA PRESS mobilized 17 photojournalists from all over the globe who worked simultaneously for over a month between November and December 2012.

The result is a fascinating report on the challenges faced by children in their quest for education and the innumerable obstacles they overcome: poverty, lack of resources, political conflict, wars, religious tensions, lack of public transportation, urban security, natural disasters, gender inequality, social exclusion...

But these stories also reveal the striking resilience of the children, their mothers, fathers, teachers, volunteers and NGOs, and a collective determination to build a better future through education.

I have seen the power of education in my life, my country and our world. I urge all the world’s leaders to give priority to the Global Education First Initiative in their national policies. I count on all of you to make education for all a reality – so that the people of today can build a safer and more sustainable tomorrow.

BAN KI-MOON, United Nations Secretary-General