Film featuring Dynamo, Laura Carmichael and poet Yomi speaks up for Safe Schools
Celebrities, Children in conflicts, Education in emergencies
A film featuring the voices of young people around the world has been made to send a powerful message that children trapped in conflicts and natural disasters need safe schools.
The video features TV actor Laura Carmichael and magician Dynamo delivering a poem with the spoken word artist Yomi “GREEdS” Sode.
Safe Schools: Children Can No Longer Wait has been released a week before the first ever World Humanitarian Summit as part of the #SafeSchools campaign run by Theirworld, the children’s charity behind A World at School.
Five hundred of A World at School’s network of Global Youth Ambassadors were asked to share words that personally reflected the importance they placed on school.
Refugee children in Lebanon show some of the chosen words
These were then used by Yomi as the basis of the poem, which paints a powerful and emotive picture of the value children place on returning to a school in the aftermath of a humanitarian emergency for protection, education and social support.
A new fund to provide education in humanitarian emergencies, called Education Cannot Wait, will be launched at the World Humanitarian Summit.
The #SafeSchools campaign calls on world leaders to back the fund with commitment and money to ensure children can return to school quickly in the aftermath of an emergency.
In 2015, humanitarian emergencies and crisis affected the education of more than 75 million children and young people.
TV star Laura Carmichael is filmed for the video
Children who are out of school are being trapped into child labour, early marriage and other forms of exploitation. Yet last year less than 2% of humanitarian aid went to get children back into school.
Laura – star of TV’s Downton Abbey and a Theirworld Ambassador – travelled to Lebanon this time last year with the charity to meet Syrian refugee children who have been starved of an education.
She said: “I saw children who are crying out for the chance to return to school and rebuild their lives.
“This funding can restore some hope for the children I met – and millions more who in the future who may be affected by humanitarian disasters.
Dynamo perches against the skyline for his part in the film
“These children cannot wait any longer. We need to ensure their futures are prioritsed and their lives protected from a life of exploitation with the provision of a safe school.”
Dynamo – best known for his TV show Magician Impossible – also took part because he was inspired by the idea of using young people’s voices to create a message through poetry.
Yomi primarily narrates the film, which is cut with the charity’s footage from emergencies around the world.
The poet said: “I was inspired by this unique project from the start.
Yome sends a strong messsage about the plight of children
“Using the words shared by young people who may have experienced or been close to a humanitarian disaster and using their voice to develop this poem gave it legitimacy and depth in a way that could have otherwise been hard to capture.
“I wanted to develop these words to ensure the reader got a unique sense of what a school can provide in the aftermath of a conflict or disaster – not just for learning but for protection.
“I hope that this can send a strong message that ensures that the most vulnerable children in the world are not left waiting for their dreams to be restored.”
You can make your voice heard too by telling world leaders they must urgently commit resources to the Education Cannot Wait fund. Sign the #SafeSchools petition here.