I am a member of the ONE Campaign, and I write to you today as President Obama and other world leaders prepare for two critical summits in September that will determine the future of education for millions of refugee children.

As they do so, I am encouraging the president to commit the financing and policy changes necessary to ensure that every refugee child gets a quality education as soon as possible. As a first step this year, leaders need to deliver on the promise of the London Summit, and ensure quality education is provided for at least one million out-of-school refugee children.

I have two young children, and I cannot imagine being forced out of my home, taking flight along with thousands of other desperate people into a life of total uncertainty. There are millions of people living in camps all across the globe, seeking asylum and hope, and children are at the greatest risk, especially from the long-term impact of not having any options for education. Their future, their families’ futures and our future are all intrinsically linked; it is not their problem, it is our problem.

If the current education plight is not addressed, one-third of primary children will not reach basic literacy rates by 2050, and universally we will see an entire generation of illiterate adults. I am asking your readers to join ONE and ask President Obama to make sure that the U.S. delivers on a plan to provide one million refugee children with an education this school year.

Craig Rottman

Portland