On Tuesday 29th November 2022, Send My Friend Campaign Champions Evie and Anneka attended a Parliamentary Roundtable hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Global Education.
The Campaign Champions were there to ask the UK Government to pledge £170 million to Education Cannot Wait, and to advocate for the 222 million dreams of their friends whose education have been affected by emergencies and protracted crises.
The event was hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Education, and Anneka and Evie were also joined by Yasmin Sherif (Director of Education Cannot Wait), Judith Herbertson (Head of Girls Education, FCDO), Sarah Amu, a youth activist from Youth 4 Education in Emergencies, and nine MPs from the Labour, Conservative and Scottish National Parties.
Watch the video of their speech here, with the transcript available underneath.
Hi everyone, I’m Anneka, and this is Evie, and we are students from Sir John Lawes school in Harpenden, and we’re here to talk to you about Education Cannot Wait which is a campaign that supports children whose education has been the most impacted by emergencies and prolonged crises. One example of this is how education is affected by the climate, and as me and my fellow champions (that’s what we’re called) found when we attended COP 26 in November, the importance of prioritising education systems that are resilient to climate change is imperative.
The theme of the campaign currently is 222 million dreams, which is the number of children whose education is currently being affected as we speak by crises worldwide. Supporting this campaign will make a difference to the many lives of those who struggle the most, with such a basic human right as that to an education. As of September 2022, the campaign’s investment has contributed to the education in 44 different countries worldwide. It’s important that young people play a part in raising awareness to these issues, as we’re too going through the crucial stage of education , so it’s clear to us what a difference the campaign’s support would make to childhood of the children currently struggling.
I’m going to talk to you a little bit about how we’ve implemented this campaign in our school and what we’ve done, is we’re trying to raise awareness about the Education Cannot Wait fund in our school. We’ve taught lessons to year eights, and as you can see behind me, there’s clouds on the wall. On one side of these clouds, they’ve written their dreams for their education and what they want to do. On the other side they’ve written why the Education Cannot Wait fund, why the UK government should pledge 170 million towards the ECW fund. I really think it’s important that you see these messages, and that you read these because we made 222 of them, to represent the 222 million dreams of children who currently don’t have an education because of emergencies for reasons outside of their control. I think that we’re coming here today to bring you this voice, to bring you these messages because they’re incredibly important. The two of us sitting here today not only represent the 222 pupils at our school that we worked with, the rest of the student body that supported the campaign, but also the thousands of schools across the UK that work with Send My Friend to empower their pupils and to empower children across the UK to help those abroad, who need what we have. We personally were affected by covid and that crisis, but the UK government was able to provide in most cases, a quality education virtually. And I sit there and I try to imagine what it would have been like had we not had the computers, and the funds and the books and the teachers that were well supported and passionate and driven to provide us with an education in that crisis. And that is why we are incredibly passionate about this. Anneka is going to read you an example.
This is an example of a dream that a year 8 from our school wrote: “I’m asking you to pledge 170 million pounds because there are 222 million children who are in crisis without education who don’t have any hope for their future. These children know that without this donation, their dreams won’t come true. These children are the future of this world and they deserve the opportunities that schools provide. School is not just about education but about the experiences that come with it. Friendships that will last a lifetime, extra-curricular activities and school meals that may be the only food they get all day.
In closing, we call all of you in this room to work towards our goal of 170 million pledge towards this, so that our 222 million friends can achieve their dreams
Find out more about the Campaign Champion programme, and how your school can apply here
Find out more about Education Cannot Wait here