Lowestoft students speak out in Parliament for global education

East Point Academy students Rita Laranjeiro (centre, front) and Levi Lawson (fourth from left, back)

East Point Academy students Rita Laranjeiro (centre, front) and Levi Lawson (fourth from left, back) with Send My Friend To School campaigners including Julia Gillard (centre, back) and Muzoon Almellehan (right, front). Picture: Courtesy of East Point Academy - Credit: Archant

Two Lowestoft students have joined the former Prime Minister of Australia to campaign in Westminster for better education for children across the globe.

East Point Academy students Rita Laranjeiro, 14, and Levi Lawson, 15, spoke to ministers and MPs alongside Julia Gillard, former Australian PM and global education advocate.

The teenagers were selected to become Send My Friend Campaign Champions at the Lowestoft high school in Kirkley Run earlier this year after impressing principal, Richard Dolding, and campaign organisers with their passion and commitment to the cause.

And after joining others from across the country in taking the 300,000 strong Send My Friend to School youth campaign to Westminster in July – calling for increased investment in the power of education around the world – they headed to Parliament once more last Wednesday.

On September 13, they took part in a Parliamentary panel alongside Muzoon Almellehan, Syrian refugee and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, to present to parliamentarians and ministers on their campaign for local education.

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The Global Partnership for Education states that 263 million children across the globe are missing out on an education that is vital for lifting them out of hunger and poverty.

As campaign champions, Rita and Levi have already made their voices heard in Parliament, after meeting Waveney MP Peter Aldous and other parliamentarians including International Development Committee chairman Stephen Twigg and Minister for International Development Alistair Burt.

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Levi said: 'It is an honour to represent young people from across the UK and speak up for the millions of children around the world who are missing out on an education.'

East Point Academy's head of citizenship, Louise Hacker, added: 'This has been a brilliant opportunity for our students to learn about how change happens and the importance of using your political voice.

'I am really proud of Rita and Levi and what they have achieved.'

Have you got an education story? Tell The Journal by calling 01502 525820 or alternatively you can send your details to mark.boggis@archant.co.uk

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