Global Youth Ambassadors to speak up for young people at Education Commission
The first meeting of the Education Commission in New York
A World at School’s network of Global Youth Ambassadors do amazing work – campaigning in their countries and communities to get every child into school and learning.
Now four of them are to take on an even bigger role on the world stage. They have been named among 16 remarkable young activists who will help world leaders as they investigate how to provide education for every child.
It was announced today they will serve on the Youth Panel of the Education Commission, representing the voices of young people and contributing to a final report to be presented at the United Nations General Assembly in September.
A special youth video challenge was also launched today – challenging young people from 13 to 30 to make a 30-second video about the future of education.
The commission – which includes five former prime ministers and presidents and three Nobel Prize winners – is examining how to reverse the lack of financing for education around the world, which has left 124 million young people out of school and hundreds of millions without quality learning opportunities.
The four GYAs are Naglaa Fathy, Hellen Griberg, Benedict Joson and Mohamed Sidibay. Among the other panellists is education campaigner Malala Yousafzai.
Mohamed is a hugely inspiring figure, drawing on his experience as a child soldier in Sierra Leone to campaign for education.
He shares his story not for shock value but as a motivational tool to inspire others.
Mohammed said: “To be given a voice on the Youth Panel is to be included, to be included is to be represented and to be represented is to be heard.
“In a world where the inclusion of youth voices are oftentimes intentionally overlooked or ignored, it is a privilege to serve as this voice, as it is a right to have youth voices be heard in initiatives like The Education Commission. When given this chance, we are able to help build our future.”
Naglaa is from Egypt, where her focus is on girls’ education and Education in Emergencies. She is very active on social media and blogs about education and produced the video above about girls’ education in Egypt for International Women’s Day 2015.
She has been involved in training teachers in new approaches and developed basic education projects in slum areas.
Naglaa said: “Education was always, and will be, a milestone of our community, the base for the future and a window to better world.
“It is a right for all humans without any discrimination or limitation, so being chosen to the Youth Panel brought me the pleasure and potential to deliver that right to all, including those have suffered discrimination, rape and have died fighting for their rights. I am here to change things with all my power.”
Benedict Joson, far left, with fellow GYAS from the Philippines
Benedict is from the Philippines and has been a high-profile and articulate advocate for education. He specialises in primary education and education policy and financing, using his skills in journalism to raise the profile of these issues and get people talking. He also blogs for the Huffington Post.
He said: “Think of the people that inspire the very best in you. How many of them had opportunity to go to school or learn from others that were educated?
“Now, imagine a world where every child can learn and thrive. Imagine a world where all children are inspired to be the best that they can be. Join us in giving that opportunity to them. Join us in being that person who inspires a new generation of stewards for our planet.”
Hellen Griberg with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Oslo
Hellen is a commited child rights campaigner, who was born in Zambia and raised in Norway. She was the youth speaker at the Oslo summit on education last year after initiating meetings with the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Julia Gillard, Board Chair of the Global Partnership for Education.
She has organised many advocacy events and she now directly supports the A World At School campaigns team through her work with our parent charity Theirworld.
Hellen said: “It is an extraordinary opportunity to be part of the Youth Panel and work with brilliant young people who believe no human being should be denied the right to education.
“For too long education has been deprioritised by world leaders. I’m glad to see that this is no longer the case. I look forward to work with the commission to find ways to achieve equal educational opportunity for children and young people.”
The commission’s full title is the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity.
It is chaired by Gordon Brown, the UN Special Enoy for Global Education. He said: “We look forward to working with this inspiring group of young leaders from across the globe to connect the Education Commission’s work with the passion, ideas and actions of children and youth across the globe.”
The full Youth Panel is:
Kennedy Odede (Kenya), Co-founder and CEO of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO).
Rosemarie Rammit (Guyana), Advocate for youth with disabilities, visually impaired Leonard Cheshire Disability Young Voices member and teacher trainee at the Cyril Potter College of Education.
Sanaya Bharucha (India), Manager, Student Leadership, Teach For India.
Naglaa Fathy (Egypt), General practitioner doctor, A World At School Global Youth Ambassador focused on education development in slum areas and women’s issues
Hellen Griberg (Zambia/Norway), Theirworld Project Assistant; A World At School Global Youth Ambassador.
Giorgio Jackson (Chile), National Deputy elected in Santiago District; former leader of Chile’s student movement.
Benedict Joson (Philippines), Huffington Post education blogger; A World At School Global Youth Ambassador.
Mohamed Khalil Liouane (Tunisia), Student activist, coordinator of the world’s largest BIL conference.
Ramon Montano (USA), Co-founder of Thinking Indigenous.
Francine Muyumba (Democratic Republic of Congo), President of the Pan African Youth Union.
Shizuka Nishimura (Japan), Former Project Coordinator at Children Without Borders in Bangladesh.
Salyne El Samarany (Lebanon), CEO Teach For Lebanon.
Menghan Shen, (China), Assistant Professor at Waseda University; Founder of PEER, a service education NGO
Mohamed Sidibay (Sierra Leone), Former child soldier; World Teach and Colombia Ministry of Education Fellow; A World At School Global Youth Ambassador.
Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra (Dominican Republic), Gates Scholar at Cambridge University.
Martine Ekomo Soignet (Central African Republic), Founder of URU, a youth-led peace-building and development organisation.
Iman Usman (Indonesia), Co-founder and CEO of Ruangguru.com, Indonesia’s largest online marketplace for private tutoring and educational content.
Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan), Co-founder of the Malala Fund and youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.