TEENAGE campaigners from Ringwood School have won this year’s Steve Sinnott Award for their commitment to global education.
The two Year 10 pupils, Millie Wells, 15, and Sam Whittingham, 14, have been appointed as the 2013 ambassadors for the Young Global Education Campaigners after a hard hitting and passionate presentation to a panel of judges.
The Send My Friend to School campaign aims to remind world leaders of their promise to deliver quality universal primary education by 2015.
Millie and Sam explained that there are more than 60 million children missing out on a basic primary education, with many more struggling to learn in overcrowded classrooms with untrained teachers.
And now the global change makers are travelling to India in three weeks’ time, visiting slum communities, attending government school classes and visiting Oxfam India projects in Delhi. On their return the pair will have a year-long task of raising awareness of the plight of education in the developing world by talking to the media, meeting with politicians and speaking in parliament.
Millie said: “When I heard that we had won the Steve Sinnott Award and would be going to India, I was overcome with emotion. I just couldn’t believe it.
“Words can’t describe how much it means to me. I just can’t wait to start work as a Young Ambassador for the campaign.”
Sam said: “The thing that I am most looking forward to is being able to do something constructive to help children across the world and hopefully improve their standard of living and education.”
Global Campaign for Education UK co-coordinator and one of the competition judges Nicola Cadbury said: “The judges all felt that Sam and Millie clearly understood the complex issues and how international change can be achieved, and were also articulate, engaging and really passionate.
“What came across was how deeply they felt that more must be done. We think they’ll make great Young Ambassadors.”
The award was set up in memory of the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers Steve Sinnott, who died in 2008.
He had been a passionate advocate of the Global Campaign for Education, an umbrella body of charities, including ActionAid, and teaching unions.