Malala Day – Partnership in Action

“You can ask her anything you want, no matter how hard…” said my colleague to a room of two hundred young people as I took my ‘hot seat’. Offering young campaigners a chance to ask a couple of older campaigners difficult questions is part of preparing youth delegates for tomorrow: Malala Day.  On Malala Day young people take over the UN, and start a new global march for every child’s right to education.

Their questions varied from how to design strategies to how to target marginalised children, how to hold governments to account to their commitments to education and how I started out in education campaigning. While the questions varied, the answers all had a common theme: partnership. If I know anything, I know change only happens if people and organisations work together towards a common goal. Malala Day is the start of enabling young people to be front and centre of the movement for education, a movement that has experienced a renewed momentum over the last couple of years.

A World at School aims to harness this momentum and see that all children are in school and learning by 2015.  Our campaign only exists because of our partners, an incredible variety of organizations working around the world to get children into school.  It’s impossible to do justice to all the work they do in just one blog: on Malala day alone, many of them are running excellent activities: COBURWAS and UNICEF are organising an event with 300 young people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where 25% of children do not get any education; Save the Children are sending an SMS to thousands of people about the importance of educating girls; Plan International are organising a youth parliament takeover for education in Sierra Leone – the list just goes on and on.

The UN takeover would not be possible without all the young people who have come from all over the world, from youth delegations organised by our partners, such as Leonard Cheshire who have brought children with disabilities from Indonesia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Guyana, as well as running events in those countries. The UN Foundation is providing much needed volunteers to oversee the hundreds of young people, along with lunch – campaigning uses up a lot of energy!

Malala Day shows what can happen if we all join together. Tomorrow is just the start. Let’s all continue to work together: it is the only way to get A World at School.

Thank you to all of our partners and supporters on this life changing day: Malala Day.

10×10 | Girl Rising
A World At School
American Federation of Teachers
Amnesty International
Anglican Consultative Council
Ark Schools (Burlington Danes Academy)
Botswana National Youth Council
Brookings Institution
Christianshavns Gymnasium/Denmark
Close the Gap
Columbia University
Council on Foreign Relations
Dangote Foundation
Education Above All Foundation
Education International
Every Mother Counts
Girl Scouts of the USA
Girls Learn International
Global Campaign for Education, US
Global Poverty Project
Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF
Hunter Hillel
Institute for Global Understanding
Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies
International Rescue Committee
Leonard Cheshire Disability
McKinsey & Company
Misión del Perú en Naciones Unidas
National Youth Council
National Youth Council Singapore
National Youth Services Council
New York University / Center for Spiritual Life
Next International Cultural Exchange
NYU Washington, DC
Office of the Special Envoy for Global Education
Office of the Special Envoy for Malaria
One Young World
Pencils of Promise
Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations
Permanent Mission of Monaco
Permanent Mission of Romania to the United Nations
Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations
Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations
Permanent Mission of Uzbekistan to the UN
Permanent Mission to Denmark
Plan International
Room to Read
Save the Children
Send My Friend to School
She's the First
South Asian Youth Action
South Asian Youth Organization
St.Mary's Jinhua School
States' 4-H International Exchange Programs
Teach For All
The MasterCard Foundation
The Cambridge Institute of International Education
U.S. Department of State
UN ASPIRE of East Stroudsburg South
UN Foundation/Girl Up
UN Global Compact
UN Women
Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office
United Nations Global Education First Initiative Youth Advocacy Group
United Nations International School
UNYAP Mongolia
US Fund for UNICEF
UWC Atlantic College
Women's Environment and Development Organization
Women's National Book Association
Working Group on Girls
World Vision Sierra Leone