Town Hall tributes to our #UpForSchool Petition partners

Up for School or #upforschool campaign

Some of our partners address the Town Hall audience Picture: Steve Gong

An incredible 10 million people around the world signed our #UpForSchool Petition. But we wouldn’t have been able to reach that astounding total without the help of some very special supporters.

Many of them were recognised at our #UpForSchool Town Hall event in New York last week – held to mark the petition being handed in to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly.

Here’s another thank you to these amazing organisations and people who helped to shout out the message that every child deserves to be in school. All pictures are by Steve Gong for A World at School.


An amazing two million signatures were collected by this UK-based charity – find out how they did it here. At The Town Hall, USA country director Salaudeen Nausrudeen – pictured with UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown – said: “We were excited from day one until today – and our commitment continues, not only for the kids of Gaza and Palestine and Syria but the kids around the world who deserve an education now.”


Shining Hope For Communities is based in Africa’s biggest slum – Kibera in Kenya. SHOFCO held a major #UpForSchool march in December. Its founder Kennedy Odede – pictured with his wife Jessica Posner – told the event: “We went door by door and the kids felt part of it. When you are poor you become invisible – but we became visible. They felt they are part of this country, they are part of this global world.”


Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aaagahi in Pakistan collected one million signatures by going door to door, holding events, going to schools and universities and using its network of Education Youth Ambassadors. At The Town Hall event, Baela Raza Jamil, ITA Adviser/Trustee, said: “The youth have been our transformative power. Once they have a mission and they have been given the skill and commitment and the motivation, they have shown unstoppable energy.”


The organisation working to end modern-day slavery was represented in New York by Alex Monroe, Senior Campaigns Manager in the United States – on the microphone in our picture. He said: “Getting every child into school is a monumental step toward eradicating child slavery. We are so excited to be part of this huge day for global education.”


Evelin Weber – writer, entrepreneur and Philippines Ambassador for A World at School – has helped to mobilise thousands of people to back the #UpForSchool Petition and is behind the #AkoSiDaniel campaign. She said: “The campaign has transcended boundaries, cultural norms, political and religous biases. It has become the string that has attached all education movements within the Philippines.”


Rovio Entertainment, the company behind the massively popular games brand, produced a special Angry Birds tournament to support the petition – persuading thousands of fans to give their backing to the campaign. The Mighty Eagle of Angry Birds, Peter Vesterbacka – pictured with Tiina Rantakokko – was at the launch of the #UpForSchool Petition a year ago and returned last week to the Town Hall event.


BRAC with Gordon Brown at Town Hall picture by Steve Gong

The largest NGO in the world used its vast network of schools and adolescent development clubs across Bangladesh to collect 1.2 million names. Here Dr Muhammed Musa from BRAC gets a handshake from Mr Brown.


World Vision Bangladesh collected 1.5 million signatures by activating a network of children, parents, teachers and community and religious leaders. It shared messages on child forums, held youth rallies, went into classrooms, visited markets and went door to door in villages across the country. Pictured is CEO Kevin Jenkins taking a bow.


The organisation appealed to its members in countries across the world, with signatures collected in time for the church and charity’s 150th anniversary congress in London in July. At the Town Hall, presenter and TV star Rainn Wilson said the Salvation Army “has been highlighting the injustice and the dehumanising effects of being out of school”. Pictured is Dean Pallant with Salvation Army colleagues.


A World at School’s network of 500 Global Youth Ambassadors are in 85 countries around the world – spreading the #UpForSchool message throughout their communities. More than 30 of them travelled to New York to be at the Town Hall and share ideas and stories at our headquarters.


The African Network Campaign on Education for All has been with the #UpForSchool campaign since its launch, campaigning across the continent. Here Gordon Brown shares the #UpForSchool Petition book with ANCEFA’s Boaz Waruku and Solange Koumbon.


Staff from Save The Children in Norway – known as Redd Barna – and Fundacao Abrinq from Brazil were at the New York gathering. Last year Redd Barna held a Peace Party in Oslo to mark the Nobel Peace Prize awards and to promote the #UpForSchool Petition. Pictured is Maite Fernandez Gauto of Fundacao Abrinq.


One of the leading child rights organisations and a champion for education, leading advocacy around the world. Plan has worked with A World at School on several projects and recently some of its youth activists in Indonesia even climbed a volcano to raise awareness of #UpForSchool. Plan’s Gorel Bogarde is pictured with youth activists.


The Chief Executive of TutuDesk, which aims to provide 20 million mobile desks to children in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020. Her father, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, signed the petition in Cape Town – becoming the sixth millionth person to add their name.


CSEI at Town Hall picture by Steve Gong

The Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion works to help excluded communities in India, including Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims – particularly focusing on aiding young people and women into education and employment. CSEI promoted #UpForSchool at a rally of 10,000 children in Delhi. Illiterate children working in the rubbish dumps of the city added their thumb prints to the petition.


The campaigning website Avaaz featured the #UpForSchool Petition last December. Hundreds of thousands of people honoured the memory of the victims of the Peshawar school massacre in Pakistan by signing. It helped to take the number of signatures at the time past one million.


Silvana Koch-Mehrin, founder of Women In Parliament, was at the event. Host and TV star Rainn Wilson said: “She’s helped mobilise women parliamentarians from around the globe to stand #UpForSchool.”

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