Kenyan youth stand #UpForSchool with rally and march

Up for School or #upforschool campaign

Young people will launch Kenya’s #UpForSchool campaign tomorrow and call for action to get every child in to school. They will add their voices to the global campaign which has already received support from such world-renowned figures as Graça Machel and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. 

Kenyan NGO Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) has organised the launch event in the Kibera area of the capital Nairobi to demonstrate their country’s overwhelming support of the one of the biggest petitions in history – the #UpForSchool Petition.

It demands world leaders take immediate action to get every girl and boy into school, without danger or discrimination. Already more than 6000 young Kenyans have signed the petition and #UpForSchool youth rallies have been held in New York and London.

Kennedy Odede, one of Africa’s best-known community organisers and founder of SHOFCO, will be leading the rally which will begin with a #UpForSchool march through Kibera. Nearly 1000 members of the community will head out from The Kibera School for Girls at 9am.

The march will end at 10am where Kennedy will be joined by Global Youth Ambassadors from A World at School and local leaders, who will declare what they are doing to rise up for school. The event will demonstrate Kenyan’s unprecedented public support for the 58 million children currently excluded from school because they are child labourers, brides, discriminated against and exploited.

Kennedy Odede with South African activist Desmond Tutu

Kennedy said: “There’s only one gift that leaders can give to the world – and that is to make education accessible for all. Education is the key to a better future and SHOFCO is proud to support the mission of the #UpForSchool campaign as they work to make global access for all to education a reality.”

Sarah Brown, campaigner and co-founder of A World at School, said: “Young people around the world have launched the #UpForSchool Petition to get every child in to school, no matter who they are or where they are born. Every child has the right to go to school and it is exciting to see so much support for the campaign from young people in Kenya.”

Boaz Waruku, Africa Coordinator of Civil Society Education Fund and Programme Manager, Africa Network Campaign for Education For All (ANCEFA), will be at the launch and will highlight the commitment of teachers from all across Africa.

He said: “Teachers and young people are coming together around the world to make call for action for all children, no matter who they are or where they are born.”

There is now a unique window of opportunity to put pressure on political leaders to keep their promise before the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015.  With 12 million signatures pledged by partners such as Avaaz, Education International and ANCEFA, who will be collecting signatures in more than 30 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. Up For School already has pledges of 12 million signatures – but with 400 days to go it is critical that the campaign continues to mobilise numbers.

Don’t forget to sign the #UpForSchool Petition now.

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