Meet the new addition to the SSF team: Nick Evans

576508_387488107990870_1044981392_nHello, my name is Nick Evans, I am twenty two years old and am the new fundraising co-ordinator for the Steve Sinnott Foundation. I graduated from Cardiff University in July with a BA in linguistics and have helped run the RNLI’s summer face to face fundraising campaigns in Wales for the past two years.

The RNLI’s summer campaigns have been incredibly successful and are currently undergoing expansion as I leave the charity. I personally raised over £30,000 for the charity over my two summers with them. I am delighted to be bringing the skills I have acquired from such as well-established and reputable charity to the blossoming Steve Sinnott Foundation.

When I initially researched the foundation, I was particularly impressed by its pedagogical workshops with teachers from Sierra Leone, exemplifying the foundation’s ethos of creating self-sustaining educational structures in developing countries, rather than simply giving ephemeral aid.

I personally understand the significance of not simply education but quality education as I would not find myself in my current position without the quality state schooling I received here in the United Kingdom. The thought that there are currently 57 million children worldwide who are deprived  of that same education only spurs me, as I hope it does you, to push for global reform and dedicate all necessary resources to see Millennium Development Goal 2 achieved.

I personally believe that the reason MDG2 is possible and tangible is because we are not alone. We stand alongside Education International, the NUT  and the Global Campaign for Education and its’ coalition members, all of whom are campaigning and pushing tirelessly for global reform.

I will be taking responsibility for the Foundation’s social media so you can expect to see a lot more activity on our Facebook page and Twitter feed; don’t forget to add @SSFoundation! This blog will also be updated regularly with information regarding the Foundation, its projects and MDG2 as a whole so if there’s anything you’d like to see written about, email me at nick.evans@stevesinnottfoundation.org.uk or leave a comment on a post.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Together we can achieve MDG2, education for all.

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Amnesty International: Human Rights Day

“My father was a liberal and educated man.  He gave us an education and religious lessons and told us that we should work for the progress and prosperity of our country”

–          Parween

Parween runs a girls’ primary school in the Laghman province of Afghanistan. Due to her position as a promoter and provider of gender and educational rights, her and her family have suffered greatly at the hands of parties opposed to change and progress. These parties refer to Parween and her family as supporters of ‘Afghan-Americans’. They use scare tactics and terrorism to keep individuals such as Parween who fight for educational rights entrenched in a constant fear.

“If we want, we can leave this place and run away, but this is not our aim. Our main goal is to serve the people of this country by promoting education for children and rebuilding the country.”

The horrors Parween and her family have been subjected to include her children’s mobile phone numbers being traced and bombarded with threatening messages and phonecalls. Parween’s son Hamayoon was kidnapped and held hostage. Tragically, Parween didn’t see her son again until a year and three months later when his body was discovered by nomads.

Despite all the loss and pain she has endured, Parween continues to campaign for education in Afghanistan. Her story and her rationale for campaigning serves as a constant reminder as to why, more than ever, Millennium Development Goal 2 must be achieved and why governments, institutions and individuals must do everything within their power to see it realised.

We are committed to fulfilling our father’s wish. The only way to fight ignorant people is to promote education in this country.”

MP Richard Harrington hosts afternoon tea for Steve Sinnott Foundation 31/11/13

On Thursday 7th November Richard Harrington MP hosted an afternoon tea in honour of the Steve Sinnott Foundation, celebrating the success of foundation’s first Education for All Day and continued work towards to Universal Primary Education. Baroness Walmsley joined us for a cup of tea and a cake before dashing off to debate the progress that has been made on the Millennium Development Goals covering the improvement of education for girls in developing countries.

The event was also attended by Robert Lindsay, star of shows such as Spy, My Family and Citizen Smith (in which he, ironically, drove a tank directly at Parliament). We are delighted that Robert was able to attend and look forward to his ongoing support for the important work of the foundation.

Richard Harrington MP introduced Steve Sinnott Award Global Campaigners Ramani Chandramohan and Raina Bardhan who presented their research on the current state of global primary education to all who attended the afternoon tea. Raina and Ramani outlined that since MDG 2’s inception, universal primary-level education has risen to 90% from 82% in 1999 which is a fantastic achievement, and everyone who has supported Education for All deserves a pat on the back. But not for long, there is still a great deal of work left to be done as there are still 57 million children deprived of a basic education around the world, a fact that lead to many an agape mouth and dropped french fancy.

The Steve Sinnott Foundation believes that hard working and inspiring young people like Raina, Ramani and the hundreds of other students who took part in Education for All day are the fuel that will really drive global change and reform.

MP Richard Harrington, Raina, Ramani and Robert Lindsay.

MP Richard Harrington, Raina, Ramani and Robert Lindsay.

A number of supporters and project partners joined us including representatives of Macmillan Publishing, Children in Crisis and Usborne Books. We would like to thank them for their continued support and contributing to the success of the afternoon.

EfA Conference 8/11/13

The first annual Education for All day held on Friday 21st June 2013 was a great success. Over 50 schools, 26,000 young campaigners and 1,600 teaching staff took part to raise awareness of the barriers to education worldwide. Several of the schools who took part in EFA day attended a conference on December 8th 2013 at the National Union of Teachers headquarters in London. The objective was for young people to meet, share and discuss what they did for EFA day, what worked well and how to make EFA day 2014 bigger and better.

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Mary with the pupils from Grange Infant/Primary School.


A number of the attending schools held a ‘stall’ which displayed resources and images displaying their campaigning efforts on EfA Day. The stalls were visited by all attending pupils offering a fantastic opportunity to visualise the activities and efforts by others in their shared campaign towards Education for All. For example, students from Gustons CoE Primary School in Dover partner with Bhagwati School in Nepal. The schools exchanged letters written in Nepali and English discussing the barriers to education the pupils in Bhagwati School faced. The pupils at Gustons realised that two of the biggest challenges their fellow pupils in their partner school faced were the distance they had to walk to school and the fact that they had no furniture and so lessons were taught on the floors of classrooms. On EFA day, the pupils therefore organised an early-morning walk around a local park (apparently it was very cold and foggy)imitating a long walk to school and experienced what school would be like if lessons were taught with no desks, spending the remainder of the day working sat on the floor. Learning about young people so eager to participate in demonstrations that exemplify social empathy is fantastic and very inspiring.

Gustons CoE Primary School are one of many EfA Day schools who are partnered with a school overseas, sharing experiences and working across continents on curriculum based projects. Please contact us if your school is interested in partnering with a school overseas, it’s a very rewarding and enriching experience for young people working together with their international peers.

Pupils from Gustons CoE School wrote to David Cameron

Pupils from Gustons CoE School wrote to David Cameron

A common action in attending schools and in 70% of schools that took part in EFA day was to write to Prime Minister David Cameron, illustrating the importance of EFA day and urging him to prioritise education in the international agenda.

Nicki and Penny getting everyone warmed up

Nicki and Penny getting everyone warmed up

The Steve Sinnott Foundation’s education team, Nicky Anastasiou and Penny Clayton did a fantastic job leading the activities on the day, engaging pupils and teachers alike in activities that, rather than demonstrating the differences between pupils, enabled them to think about the similarities they shared as students in the UK.

Eilidh and Billy discussing with fellow pupils

Eilidh and Billy discussing with fellow pupils

Eilidh Naismith and Billy Davidson will be hosting a Scotland based EfA Day conference on Monday 9th December at their school, Hutcheson’s Grammar in Glasgow. The conference will challenge participants to demonstrate how they would improve education opportunities for children in a developing country. The conference will conclude with the winning school walking away with £500 to put their plan into action. We’re extremely proud of Eilidh and Billy for their enterprising spirit.

Lastly, the Steve Sinnott Foundation would like to give a massive thank you to: Farnborough Grange Primary School, Hampshire; Ringwood Secondary School, Hampshire; Dore Primary School, Sheffield; Hutchesons’ Grammar School, Glasgow; Simon Langton Girls School, Kent; Gustons CoE Primary School, Dover; Cherbourge Primary School, Suffolk; Broadstone Middle School, Poole and Grange Primary School, Ealing for attending and making the conference such a great success. It is ideas like theirs and of every school that took park in EFA day 2013 that will ensure EFA day 2014 will be more successful, more engaging and most importantly, will raise even greater awareness about Millennium Development Goal 2 and the right to Universal Primary Education.

Sam, Millie, Raina, Mary, Ramani, Eilidh, Billy

Sam, Millie, Raina, Mary, Ramani, Eilidh, Billy