Last 18 February, JOSH welcomed two young ambassadors for the Global Campaign for Education UK, Sam Whittingham and Millie Wells. Both were from Ringwood School in Hampshire, United Kingdom and were recipients of the Steve Sinnott Award, a grant funded in memory of the passionate “Education for All” advocate who passed away last 2008.
Sam and Millie are part of GCE UK’s campaign that aims to remind world leaders of their promise to deliver quality universal primary education by 2015. For one year, they will continuously be involved in fact finding missions that will hopefully provide answers to the world’s dilemma of having over 60 million children missing out on basic primary education and with many more struggling to learn in overcrowded classrooms being taught by untrained teachers.
JOSH was privileged to be the young ambassadors’ first visit in and around the capital city of Delhi. As part of the project, the organization coordinated with Oxfam India in introducing Sam and Millie to the youths and members of the community where they had the opportunity to visit the resource centers being run by JOSH, specifically the Youth Resource Center (YRC) and the Minority Resource Center (MRC).
The visit started with an orientation about JOSH, its objectives, and the programs that it has been running in the resettlement colonies of Trilokpuri and Kalyanpuri. In the Youth Resource Center (YRC), the young ambassadors met the volunteers and had the chance to interact with them about school, family, and plans about the future. It was the perfect opportunity for them to share their own experiences and learn about what life is like for the youths in resettlement colonies like Trilokpuri and Kalyanpuri. By learning, Sam and Millie will hopefully help in inspiring other young people in the UK to understand and assist in addressing the global problem on the inequity of education and participate in other education-focused campaigns like ‘Send My Friend to School.’
They were also given a first-hand take on relating with the community members after the YRC visit. During lunch, they were introduced to an active member of the Community Resource Center (CRC) who narrated her struggles with sending her children to school and explained the impact of the Right to Education (RTE) Act on her family. Through this, the young ambassadors were educated about another perspective on the current state of education in India.
When lunch was over, the young ambassadors, along with GCE UK Campaigns Team Leader John Mclaverty, their teacher Gill Hickman, and the media team from the Guardian, were accompanied to the Minority Resource Center (MRC) where they were introduced to the girls who were currently enrolled in JOSH’s free computer literacy course. Again, they interacted with the girls and learned about their plight in earning a good education.
As organizations are gearing up for the 2015 note on education, partnerships and campaigns like the one that GCE UK has with Oxfam India and JOSH can be a major contributor in evaluating how true the census is. Such initiatives can also monitor the extent of the success of the programs that have been promulgated to give access and rights to millions of children around the world.