Philippines celebrities team up to collect 1.5 million #UpForSchool signatures

Up for School or #upforschool campaign

Celebrities from the Philippines are backing the #UpForSchool Petition to highlight the need for better education in the country.

Writer and entrepreneur Evelin Weber and TV presenter Marc Nelson are helping to collect 1.5 million signatures to represent the 1.5 million children not in school in the southeast Asian country. That makes it one of the 10 highest out-of-school populations in the world.

Evelin Weber wants to help underserved children

Evelin, who is Philippines Patron of A World at School, said: “The Philippine government has not prioritised education as much as it needs to. Bringing education to the underserved children, not only in the Philippines but everywhere, is a global responsibility.”

The #UpForSchool Petition is a youth-led global coalition working to get every girl and boy into school. Already signed by more than five million people around the world, it calls on world leaders to take urgent action to get the 58 million out-of-school children into classrooms and learning.


In the Philippines, the petition will be presented to the government and to the head of state at September’s United Nations General Assembly.

You can sign the Philippines petition here.

Evelin was born and raised in the Philippines and now lives in the United States. She has been a model, TV presenter and Wall Street banker – and is now writing books and helping humanitarian projects.

I believe education is a right, not a privilege. Help ensure that every child has that right by signing the #upforschool…

Posted by Marc Nelson on Monday, 4 May 2015

Marc is a presenter on the TV show Asia’s Got Talent and is also an ambassador for the charities WWF Philippines and World Vision. He said: “We want to highlight the fact that education changes lives and more funding is needed to support that.”

His friend and fellow Asia’s Got Talent host Rovilson Hernandez has also backed the #UpForSchool Petition, along with TV sports presenter Jinno Rufino and Joey Mead King, TV presenter and a mentor on Asia’s Next Top Model.

Ben Hewitt, Director of Communications and Campaigns at A World at School, said: “We are so appreciative of the collaboration between Evelin Weber and the International School of Manila, using their energy and enthusiasm to encourage their networks to get involved and sign up to be part of this growing petition.

“World leaders promised to get every child into school by 2015.  We now have a window of opportunity to put the pressure on them to keep their promises, making 2015 the year all children secured the right to go to school and learn.”

Students at the International School of Manila (ISM) were engaged in examining global issues and discovering their own solutions to solve for them. In researching these various issues, students identified education to be the root cause of many of the world’s problems. Because of this, students at the ISM were inspired to advocate for change.

Monica Villanueva, a teacher at ISM who is leading the youth movement for the #UpforSchool campaign, said: “We often underestimate the voice of today’s young changemakers. Each day, I am surprised by my students’ desire to make a difference and advocate.”

Marc Nelson and Rovilson Fernandez on Asia’s Got Talent

Primary school net enrolment in the Philippines is 88% – down from 98% in 1990. Government spending on basic education in recent years has been erratic and 
inadequate and is below the recommended 20% level of the national budget.

But typhoons – such as 2013’s Haiyan, or Yolanda as it was known in the Philippines – significantly affect education indicators such as attendance rates and 
dropout rates and increasing cost due to damaged school facilities. According to the RedCross, in Leyte alone, Typoon Haiyan left 3200 schools damaged and more than one million children without a learning space.

Sign the #UpForSchool Petition and get news about the campaign.

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