From the world to Shakira and the UN … the #UpForSchool Petition’s journey

Gordon Brown, Up for School or #upforschool campaign

Shakira with the book containing #UpForSchool Petition signatures

It was a remarkable journey. One year after a youth rally in New York launched the #UpForSchool Petition, an orange book was handed in on a historic day for the United Nations.

As 193 countries gathered on September 25 to adopt new global goals for the next 15 years and the Pope addressed world leaders, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took time out to accept the petition.

In the book were the names of 10 MILLION people who signed #UpForSchool and demanded the international community take action now to get every child into school and learning.

Ben Hewitt, Campaigns Director of A World at School, said: “This is a huge journey which shows that people power works. When the petition started, education was not seen as central. Aid for education was dropping every year and the out-of-school population had risen to 59 million.

“But when Ban Ki-moon accepted the #UpForSchool Petition, the message went out that education is at the heart of all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“When we arrived at the UN with the petition, the Pope was speaking on the main platform and he said education is the basis of the implementation of the new 2030 agenda and for reclaiming the environment.”

To follow the journey of the petition from last year’s launch until the 10 million signatures milestone, go to our #UpForSchool Petition campaign news page. To follow the journey of the petition over the past few days, read on…

Singer and campaigner Shakira, who has been a crucial #UpForSchool campaigner and mobilised her huge social media following, with the petition book.

Shakira writes a message, watched by UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown.

And this is what she wrote.

Shakira hands the petition to Mr Brown, alongside A World at School Global Youth Ambassadors Benedict Joson from the Philippines and Dawnique Shury from Guyana.

Shakira tweets this adorable picture of her son Sasha.

Gordon Brown’s Chief of Staff Justin van Fleet and A World at School’s Ben Hewitt arrive at the UN.

Outside the iconic UN headquarters.

The book sits in front of the famous Non-Violence sculpture. 

Petition with Non-Violence sculpture outside UN HQ

And at the Sphere Within Sphere sculpture.

Inside the UN headquarters, Gordon Brown presents the petition to Ban Ki-moon.

The hand-in of the petition will be marked at the #UpForSchool Town Hall event on September 28, co-hosted by British charity Theirworld and the UN children’s agency UNICEF. Leafing through the signatures from around the world are Theirworld President Sarah Brown and UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.

Mr Lake adds his own message to the book.

You can follow coverage of the #UpForSchool Town Hall here.

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