August 16, 2018

Global Youth Ambassadors S/Hero Week: meet our safe schools champion Anushka

Anushka Gupta has been helping to educate children and teachers about gender equality

Photo credit: Anushka Gupta

In the latest of our Global Youth Ambassadors S/Hero Week awards, we spotlight the winner of the safe schools category.

  • We have over 900 passionate young education advocates from across 90 countries, working tirelessly to ensure every child and young person has access to inclusive quality education and training to get the best start in life.
  • They are the Global Youth Ambassadors for Theirworld and our A World at School movement. Every day they are doing truly inspiring work, often at the forefront of Theirworld’s campaigns and key focus areas, from early childhood development to inclusive education - both globally and locally. 
  • Global Youth Ambassadors S/Hero Week is a celebration of their exceptional work both as a network and in recognition of key outstanding individuals as voted by their peers. Each day this week in our Their News channel we will be highlighting how integral our Global Youth Ambassadors have been in each campaign or focus area and announcing the 2018 Global Youth Ambassadors Campaign S/Heroes.

Today the Safe Schools S/Hero award goes to a Global Youth Ambassador who has shown "outstanding work to ensure schools are safe places of learning".

She is...

Anushka Gupta from India

Anushka has been raising awareness of issues as sensitive as sexual abuse, including conducting workshops in state schools.

She has also been helping to educate children and teachers about gender equality - and designed a proposal of activities for the ministry of education to ensure gender equality in schools.

Her fellow Global Youth Ambassadors described her as "a passionate advocate", "hard-working with the intent to create long-lasting change" and someone whose "commitment is unwavering".

Anushka said: "Thank you Theirworld for appreciating my little efforts. I'm truly honoured to receive this award and it has surely motivated me to serve my community with much more efficiency."

Every child in the world has the right to an education without fear of violence or attack. 

However, every year millions of children and young people have their education disrupted - by conflicts, direct attacks on schools, military occupation of schools, toxic stress, sexual abuse, bullying and other forms of violence.

In 2015, humanitarian emergencies and crisis affected the education of more than 80 million children and young people, yet less than 2% of humanitarian aid went to get children back into a safe school. 

Education Cannot Wait helps to educate children whose lives have been disrupted by emergencies

Photo credit: Education Cannot Wait

In 2016 through our #SafeSchools campaign, Theirworld helped to urge world leaders attending the first ever World Humanitarian Summit to commit to aid education in emergencies by launching Education Cannot Wait, a new fund ensuring children return to school quickly in the aftermath of an emergency.

Our Global Youth Ambassadors were instrumental in the effort - Omang Agarwal (India) collected an incredible 35,000 signatures through networks and his organisation Youth For Peace International. 

Taha Fathima Khan (India), Sajiha Batool (Pakistan), Maham Aftab (US) and Fiona Adams (US) contacted their governments and organisations attending the summit, telling them why education in emergencies is an important issue to young people across the world. 

Fideline Mboringong (Cameroon), Sarah Fleihan (Lebanon), Dea Salsabila Amira (Indonesia), Diksha Dinde (India) and Mohamed Sidibay (Sierra Leone) highlighted the voices of young children ahead of the summit, using drawings to express what safe schools meant to them. 

The #SafeSchools petition, with more than 250,000 signatures, was delivered by youth activists to the summit and the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) fund was launched. The ECW has helped deliver education to over 650,000 children caught up in conflicts and natural disasters in its first year of operation.

Our Global Youth Ambassadors have been passionately advocating and campaigning for education change on the ground, in their own countries.

Schools around the world are under attack - like this one in Sana’a, Yemen, after an air strike

Photo credit: UNICEF / Mahmoud

Ahlam Ahmed (Yemen) has been a guest speaker on Yemeni TV channels, talking about the education crisis in his country. Ahlam also participated in the National Conference for Education in Yemen, where the key topic was the obstacles to education in the face of the ongoing war.

Clareine N’lambi Nzeza’s (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and her organisation, REPER (Realités and Perspectives), has developed ways to counter violence in schools

As President of Students Against Corruption, Daniel Dennis (Liberia) is fighting corruption in schools through his radio shows as well as establishing Integrity Clubs in Liberian Schools.

2018 saw our Global Youth Ambassador Mohamed Sidibay share his inspirational story during a keynote speech at the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) replenishment event in Senegal. 

Mohamed, a former child soldier, spoke about his background and what spurred his hunger to become a teacher and human rights activist - education. He helped secure $2.3 billion towards funding the GPE, which helps to educate 870 million children in more than 60 countries.

To ensure schools are safe and learning in schools is safe it is important to ensure the security and knowledge given to these young future leaders. 

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