Nobel Peace Party children sent an education message to world leaders
A World at School, Up for School or #upforschool campaign
This week marks a huge moment for children’s rights around the world – as the outstanding achievements of Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai are honoured with a much-deserved shared Nobel Peace Prize.
As the world looked on to recognise Malala and Kailash “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education,” 6000 Norwegian children came together in Oslo’s main square for an inspiring Peace Party.
The party, organised by Save the Children Norway, used this unique moment to ask people around the world to sign and share the #UpForSchool Petition and help build the biggest petition in history.
Schoolchildren with #UpForSchool signs in Norwegian
The petition will bring millions of voices together from around the world and build a message that cannot be ignored, demanding world leaders take immediate action to get every girl and boy into school, without danger or discrimination.
It is significant that these young people are coming together in Oslo, as in 209 days world leaders will be coming back there for a crucial summit on education hosted by the Norwegian government where action must be taken. We must see greater investment to get every child in to school. It would be a mockery of the Nobel Peace Prize if an education summit in Oslo does not yield significant commitments from world leaders.
A global coalition of faith leaders, business leaders, civil society organisations, teachers, NGOs and youth around the world have come behind the #UpForSchool Petition with signatures and pledges of support.
The crowd outside the Nobel Peace Center saw music, magic and speeches Picture: Save the Children Norway/Kjetil Skårdal Andersen
Campaigning organisation Avaaz has committed to collect two million signatures. Already 170,000 signatures have been collected in schools across Pakistan alone.
Teachers’ union network Education International is collecting six million signatures. A youth rally in Kibera in Kenya last week resulted in another 8500 young people adding their names.
It is a proven fact that people-powered politics influences our decision makers, because big numbers mobilising over an issue cannot be ignored. Our history of people’s movements, such as apartheid and the suffragettes, shows us that if we act together in big numbers we can make change happen.
Young Norwegian presenters brought some amazing energy on to the stage Picture: Save the Children Norway/Kjetil Skårdal Andersen
We have a unique window of opportunity, with no time to waste, we believe that with the power of multiplication and a commitment from each and every one of us, the numbers can build with ease – and fast.
Education gives life and a better future. We know that, no matter how difficult the backgrounds from which they come, those with at least a basic education earn more, they and their children are healthier – and they have the opportunity to contribute to their communities and their economies.
There are more and more children already going to school. In 2000 there were 103 million children out of school. This number has reduced to 58 million. That means we are already halfway there. We now need to push world leaders to take action to finish the job and this can happen in Oslo.
Now you can add your voice. Sign the #UpForSchool Petition now.