We have been an active of the Send My friend to School campaign since it first launched in 2005. It was through this scheme and promoting article 28 of the UNCRC that the school developed such an interest in Children's Rights. As 2011 is the UN year of the woman the theme for this years campaign is about the many girls who are prevented from going to schools by their families or culture. So this year it is "SEND MY SISTER TO SCHOOL."
We have all been making buddies both online and in paper showing our support for the Campaign. Again our MP Kevin Brennan kindly came into school to take them up to Westminster for us as part of the campaign. He answered some of the childrens' questions such as:-
ZAC: "HOW DOES THE 'CREDIT CRUNCH' (ECCONOMIC DOWNTURN) AFFECT AID GIVEN TO COUNTRIES?"
KB: "Well we should not let it affect our commitments and promises to help. In 2000 lots of countries agreed that we should help the needed to improve things to make life better these are known as Millennium Development Goals one of these is to get everyone in school by 2015. Yes the global economic downturn it makes it a bit harder for us, but it also means that it is even more important that we do help those in most need."
RHYS: "HOW DO YOU HELP PROMOTE THE UNCRC?"
KB: "As a member of parliament I am a bit like your School Council except instead of just working on behalf of the pupils in your school, I was elected to work on behalf of all they people in the West of Cardiff. Like you listening to your fellow pupils then influencing policies and actions in Millbank I listen to all my constituents -which include you- try and get the UK government to promote and respect the Rights of Children."
SHAMIRA: "WHY DO GIRLS HAVE TO DO ALL THE WORK?"
KB: "This is about Equality, often just because women have always worked hard looking after families, it is seen as being traditional or cultural. It used to be like that here in the UK with women being paid less than men and not being allowed to vote. It is important that girls around the world are allowed to go to school and get an education. In fact children whose mothers have been to school are 50% more likely to live beyond the age of 5 that those who have not."
GABRIELLE (class1): "DO YOU LIKE SCHOOL?"
KB: "Yes I used to be a school teacher, and I always thought that it was very important for children to enjoy their time at school and work very hard so that they can get a good job and have lots of opportunities available to them."
MISS ALLEN: "CAN THE CHILDREN REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE EVEN AS A SMALL SCHOOL?"
KB: "Absolutely, you do lots of things already here at Millbank working on lots of local and global issues. By promoting Fairtrade and sustainable living, collecting litter and writing to manufacturers of litter it all has an effect. You can make a difference locally and globally"
Kevin also presented us with the Fairtrade Flag that we have earned this year. At first it might seem a separate issue all together but when we spoke to the children in Uganda we heard first hand how providing schools with the fairtrade premium is a huge help in getting children to realise their right to education. Just by us choosing Fairtrade products such as our uniform we can make a difference.
In parliament last week (6th July) our Prime Minister David Cameron said about 'Send my Sister' campaign "I am delighted to welcome the campaign... The fact is that across our world 39 million girls are out of school and even if they are in school, the gender gaps we still see are appalling. We in the UK, through our aid budget, are securing schooling for 11 million children by 2015. That is more than we educate in the UK, but we will be able to do it at 2.5% of the cost. This is a good investment for Britain and for British taxpayers that will ensure that we reduce inequality in our world." You can see former PM's Gordon Brown interview on CNN here
As a UNESCO Associated School we are keen on the global citizenship our link with the AMAF school in Nairobi has show the children how they can make a direct contribution to helping pupils at that school by their actions. But all this work helps put the importance of their own education and local community in perspective.
Kevin Brennan MP had come into school in 2005 as part of our work on promoting Global Education. (sadly the photos from that have been taken down by the council- we hope that they will put it back up one day). But you can also see when Aluned Morgan now the Baroness of Ely visited in 2007 or Glenys Kinnock, or again in 2008 . We did not have any photos of last years giant football scarf.