An inspiring education conference

By Nicole Mballah, Young Voices campaigner from Kenya (pictured far right, with fellow campaigners Sara, Argie and Leroy)

Four Young Voices campaigners sitting together around a table

In June I was given the wonderful opportunity to attend the Global Partnership for Education replenishment conference held in Brussels, Belgium. This was an inspirational and empowering event for me.

I had the chance to prepare a one page speech on inclusive education and present it during a panel session at the conference. As a young campaigner who advocates for the right to education for persons with disabilities I was able to share the many struggles we go through when accessing education. It is the right of every child regardless of their gender, sexuality, race, or disability to gain an education. We need the help of the community as well as the Government to ensure there are accessible structures and trained teachers for the dream of inclusive education to become a reality.

I was very happy to see a great number of people at the conference taking their time to truly understand the importance of education and give their support to ensure every child has the opportunity to learn. It was even more inspiring that we as young people were given an opportunity to speak openly about what needs to be done and represent the thousands of young people whose voices cannot be heard.

It was amazing to meet so many people who were passionate about disability issues, and to hear inspirational stories from people like Leroy Philips, Young Voices campaigner from Guyana, proving that even with his disability, he was able to gain an education and pave the way for many others. It was an experience I was always cherish.

Posted in Kenya, Young Voices News and tagged ,

Here’s a couple more photos from today’s sessions at the Global Partnership for Education Replenishment Conference in Brussels.

Posted in Global, Young Voices News and tagged ,

Equal Right: Equal Opportunity – Global Action Week 2014

This week, people will be taking action across the world to campaign for the right to education for children with disabilities as part of the Global Campaign for Education’s Global Action Week on education and disability. Find out how you can get involved.

Young Voices campaigners will be joining in with the campaign, including taking part in a rally in Kenya and a radio show in Zambia. Watch this space for blogs, photos and updates on this week’s activities.

Young Voices = Global Ambassadors

Six Young Voices campaigners have been selected as Global Youth Ambassadors for education by A World At School. A World At School is creating a global network of young ambassadors who campaign in their schools, communities and countries for action to get every child into school and learning.

Huge congratulations to Leroy from Guyana, Ashwini from India, Sarah from Kenya, Munyaradzi from Zimbabwe, Yaaseen from Mauritius and Ishan from Sri Lanka. They have been chosen to be ambassadors because of their interest, passion and dedication to fighting for the right to education.

Posted in Young Voices News and tagged

Young Voices campaigners from Zimbabwe on the road!

20140219_339LeonardCheshireYoung Voices campaigners from Zimbabwe went on a speaking tour of six secondary schools in March and February, reaching an amazing total of over 12,000 school children.

The campaigners gave motivational speeches about their own experience of disability, and the importance for education for children with disabilities. They also spoke about the barriers that prevent people with disabilities reaching their goals, such as discrimination and exclusion, and highlighted what can be achieved when these barriers are removed.

By speaking from their own experience and showing that people with disabilities can be inspirational role models, the campaigners transformed the way the schoolchildren and their teachers see disability. Teachers at one of the schools said that they felt challenged to hear that Young Voices campaigners were achieving a higher level of education than they had reached themselves by doing post-graduate studies. This helped them to appreciate the value of educating children with disabilities.

The campaigners have already changed the views of over 12,000 people. But the tours are having an even great impact, with many of those who attended going on to raise awareness of disability within their families and communities.

Education for girls with disabilities

Here’s Young Voices campaigner Ashwini Angadi from India speaking about the importance of education for girls with disabilities. Ashwini was speaking at the 2nd Annual Global Education & Skills Forum in Dubai. More than 850 world leaders, business leaders, government ministers, and education experts attended the forum, including President Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

Congratulations Josephine!

Young Voices campaigner Josephine Namirimu in her graduation outfit. She is a wheelchair user.
Big congratulations to Young Voices campaigner Josephine Namirimu from Uganda, who has just graduated with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Makerere University Business School. To celebrate her graduation, she plans to go one of the Cheshire homes in Uganda with some fellow students. They hope to encourage and inspire the children with disabilities who live there to achieve great things in education.

Posted in Global, Uganda, Young Voices News and tagged