Global Youth Ambassadors and campaigners keep up the education pressure
Education funding, Education in emergencies, Global Youth Ambassadors, United Nations General Assembly
Taha Fathima Khan, 20, from India is one of our Global Youth Ambassadors
The futures and dreams of millions of children around the world are in the hands of world leaders gathering at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
They have the power to deliver the funding needed to get every girl and boy into school – including those in countries hit by humanitarian emergencies.
But a massive army of people who care passionately can also make a massive difference. Their campaigning has been keeping up the pressure on donor countries to hold to their promises made at previous summits.
Here’s a look at some of the ways in which campaigners have been pressing home the message that urgent action is needed to get every child in school.
OUR GLOBAL YOUTH AMBASSADORS
Ousmane from Sierra Leone will be representing GYAs in New York
A World at School has an amazing network of 500 Global Youth Ambassadors in 85 countries. They champion the cause of education for all and engage with local decision-makers and communities to bring about real change.
Two of them – Taha Fathima Khan, 20, from India, and Ousmane Ba, 23, from Sierra Leone – will be representing the GYAs during the UN General Assembly Week.
They will be at the launch of a major report into education funding and opportunities by the Education Commission on September 18. They will hand over messages from Theirworld supporters (see next section) and will be representing and raising the profile of our youth activists.
They will also be writing a daily journal for A World at School’s website and reporting through social media. Theirworld’s Instagram page will show many of their activities.
Four of our GYAs have also been part of the Education Commission’s Youth Panel.
MESSAGES FROM CAMPAIGNERS
More than 18,000 messages were sent by Theirworld campaigners – to the co-hosts of the Supporting Syria and the Region conference in London earlier this year.
The messages demanded they stick to their pledge to get every Syrian refugee child back into education for the 2016-17 school year.
They were handed last month to Norwegian diplomat Tarald Brautaset by Alexandra Kensland Letelier, another of our Global Youth Ambassadors.
Some of our network of GYAs will be delivering those messages to world leaders attending the UN General Assembly and telling them: “You promised. Now it’s time to deliver education for every refugee child.”
FACEBOOK MESSAGES TO SYRIA SUMMIT CO-HOSTS
Theirworld and A World at School asked its supporters again this week to remind the Syria conference co-hosts not to break their promise.
They posted messages on the Facebook profiles of the co-hosts – using the #SafeSchools and #SupportSyrians hashtags.
If you want to read the messages and add your own, here are the Facebook pages:
United Kingdom Department for International Development
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway
John Kerry, United States Secretary of State
Kuwait Ministry of Foreign Affairs
ONE PETITION BACKED BY 170,000 PEOPLE
ONE, the campaign and advocacy organisation with seven million members, is running a petition about the urgent need to get refugee children into school.
As of today, it has collected more than 170,000 signatures with a message for donor countries meeting at the UN. The petition reads:
Dear World Leaders,
Refugee children have lost their homes, but we can’t allow them to lose their futures. This September, deliver a concrete plan to provide quality education for all refugee children, with at least one million more children reached by the end of the school year.
FAMOUS ACTORS READ REFUGEES POEM
A cast of well-known film and TV actors perform the poem What They Took With Them – inspired by stories and first-hand testimonies from refugees forced to flee their homes and the items they took with them.
Cate Blanchet, Keira Knightley, Juliet Stevenson, Peter Capaldi, Stanley Tucci, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kit Harington, Douglas Booth and Jesse Eisenberg feature alongside writer Neil Gaiman.
The film – released by the UN Refugees Agency (UNHCR) urges people to sign the #WithRefugees petition to help ensure refugees have the basics to build back their lives – an education, somewhere safe to live and the opportunity to work.
GLOBAL CITIZEN FESTIVAL PUTS FOCUS ON POVERTY AND EDUCATION
Several world leaders will be at the free Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park, which will feature Rihanna and Metallica. There will also be an initial event on September 22 at New York University, with the aim of securing commitments on development ahead of the main festival two days later.
The festival encourages music fans to sign petitions against extreme poverty or take other action for causes including getting more girls in school.
NGOs AND UN AGENCIES RELEASE REPORTS
Zenabou, aged seven, fled with her family from Nigeria to a camp in Diffa, Niger Picture: UNICEF/Phelps
The plight of children across the world has been highlighted in the past few days by a series of damning reports.
They should give plenty of thought to the decision-makers meeting in at the UN next week.
Here is a roundup of the reports by UN agencies UNICEF, UNESCO and UNHCR, plus Theirworld and Save The Children.