Happily Ever Smarter: Resources, lessons plans, fundraising

Written by: Karen Garvin | Published:
Education for all: Pupils at the newly constructed UWS Majjuwa in Sankhuwasabha, Nepal (image Navesh Chitrakar/UWS)

Pupils are being urged to take part in Happily Ever Smarter, a new campaign to help make going to school a reality for thousands of children living in some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised communities.

The campaign has been launched by education charity United World Schools (UWS) and is offering free educational resources, lesson plans and a fundraising kit for schools.

To inspire students in class or assembly, Happily Ever Smarter has produced a short film, due to go live on Thursday, April 29, to tell the story of Kanchi.

Aged 10, Kanchi lives high in the Himalayan mountains in Nepal, working all day in the fields with her grandmother, and she dreams of going to school.

As the film turns from animation to live action footage, we see Kanchi’s dreams turn into reality, as a school is built in her remote village. Kanchi sets off for her first day of school and a chance to transform her future.

Kanchi's story: Kanchi, 10, features in a new campaign video from UWS after her dreams of going to school became a reality (image: UWS)

One in six children worldwide do not have the chance to attend school and in the rural region of Sankhuwasabha, Nepal, where Kanchi lives, less than a third of children complete primary education.

Schools are often so far away that it is dangerous for young children to walk there and there is not always an understanding of the importance of education. Children are often needed to work in the fields and at home, keeping them trapped in a cycle of poverty.

Dhak Bahadur Poudel, headteacher of UWS Majjuwa in Sankhuwasabha, explained: “Before this school was established, going to school had been quite difficult; there are rivers on two sides, and a high chance of floods and landslides at all times. So often children had to go to the school that’s an hour’s walk away from here. And it meant that younger children couldn’t go to school at all.”

The Happily Ever Smarter schools’ resources consist of four lessons which can be used together or independently. Each lesson is approximately one-hour long and includes a lesson plan, a photocopiable activity sheet, and a real-life story with images.

Inspired by the lives of children and teachers in Nepal, the lessons introduce Education for All and the theme of Happily Ever Smarter, explore barriers to learning, and creative ways to access quality and inclusive education, and challenge students to celebrate new learning and speak up for education.

Lessons are designed for key stage 3, with stretch suggestions and differentiated stories for key stages 1, 2 and 4. They support the whole-school curriculum, with specific links to global citizenship, geography, literacy, and art and design.

Jeff Shaw, the headteacher of Scarisbrick Hall School and an ambassador for UWS, said they had used the resources as part of Wellbeing PSHE lessons: “They support us to help pupils understand the importance of education, global perspectives and empathy. We’re delighted with how our pupils have engaged; they get a real insight into the barriers to education and how thousands of children in remote areas have many challenges just to complete a basic primary education.

“For Happily Ever Smarter we’re challenging our pupils to run to Cambodia – it’s 4,200 miles, so on average each pupil has to run nine miles. We want them to use this opportunity to get their body moving, do things out in the fresh air and understand the value of what giving a small amount of money can actually do to transform another child’s life.”

Life-changing: The Happily Ever Smarter campaign says that just £80 can provide a year's education for one child (image Navesh Chitrakar/UWS)

UWS aims to raise £2 million with Happily Ever Smarter to build, resource and equip 70 new schools, train 375 local people as community teachers and reach 10,000 more children with education.

Until July 29, for every £1 raised by schools and the general public, the UK government will match donations by giving another £1. All public donations will help children access education through the UWS programmes across Asia.

UWS says that £80 could provide a year’s education for a child, while £250 could help us fill a school library with books.


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