Two articulate and passionate year 10 students are being sought to become the 2014 young ambassadors for the Global Campaign for Education (GCE).
The winning duo will be tasked with visiting Uganda in early 2014 and also supporting the GCE in promoting its global campaign to give every child in the world access to a quality education.
The GCE is trying to hold world governments to account for their Millennium Development Goal pledge that every child should have access to a full primary education by the year 2015.
While progress has been made, today there are still 57 million children around the world who miss out on an education.
The young ambassador role is made possible through the annual Steve Sinnott Award – which was set up in memory of the late general secretary of the National Union of Teachers who was passionate about the global fight for education.
The theme for the GCE in 2014 is disability, highlighting the fact that more than a third of all children missing out on school have a disability.
The winning applicants will travel to Uganda alongside charity Sightsavers. In Kampala, they will meet with policy-makers and campaigners to hear about the challenges and barriers to education in Uganda and what is being done towards progress.
They will then travel to Iganga, three hours from Kampala, where they will meet with children who are missing out on school due to discrimination or barriers to education for those with disabilities.
Sightsavers works in Uganda to provide schools with equipment, assistive devices, braille machines and paper, as well as training for teachers in SEN. The young ambassadors will also visit the Uganda Inclusive Education Programme which aims to increase enrolment of blind and low-vision children in education by 25 per cent by 2016.
After returning to the UK, the new ambassadors will help to spread the word by speaking at conferences and to the media. They will also have their diary from the trip published, including in SecEd.
The ambassadors also work to promote the GCE’s Send My Friend Campaign, which seeks to engage UK schools and students in helping to hold politicians to account for their promise. This year almost 5,000 schools and half a million pupils got involved.
The 2013 young ambassadors, are Millie Wells and Sam Whittingham from Ringwood School in Hampshire, who travelled to India earlier this year with Oxfam to investigate the barriers that girls can face when trying to access a quality education. They also travelled to New York in July to hear Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani student and education campaigner who was shot by the Taliban, speaking at the United Nations.
Millie said: “I loved every minute of it, but especially seeing first-hand the education challenges in India and participating in Malala Day. It is demanding and very hard work but such an important campaign deserves commitment. I urge you to apply.”
Students should apply through their secondary schools and applications where one or both of the candidates has an SEN or disability are encouraged.
The deadline for entries is November 15. For details, visit www.sendmyfriend.org/young-ambassadors/ CAPTION: Who’s next? This year’s young ambassadors Millie and Sam are pictured arriving for a school visit in Mandanpur Khadar in Delhi (Photo: David Levene)