Two-week campaign mobilises citizens to support their old schools across 10 countries in Europe, Africa and Asia
The last 2 days saw the Back to School campaign turn truly international. The alumni of TVS Academy in Hosur (India) went into a local school to give careers talks and help paint a school mural. In Cameroon, the Delegate of Secondary Education officially endorsed the Back to School Campaign and encouraged the citizens of Cameroon to go back to their former schools to inspire the youth. In Ghana, our partner was invited to speak at the 25th anniversary celebrations at Oguaa Senior Secondary Technical School to discuss how the school’s alumni network could be strengthened and what the most effective way of giving back to the school would be.
In Kenya, where this campaign is being headquartered, there’s hardly been a moment to breathe. After yesterday’s school event and street sign ups, we’ve had street sign ups in Githuguri, and in Nakuru, alumni and volunteers help Form 1s start a new chapter in high school life. We’ve had considerable coverage by the press. BBC Africa joined us on Monday at Olympic School and at the street pledges in Nairobi, as did NTV, QTV, Ebru TV, Standard Media, and Kibera County News. Today saw Pauline Wanja, Future First Kenya Programme Manager, going live on Kass TV’s breakfast show talking about how Future First Kenya started off and how Kenyans should get involved with the Asante Shule campaign.
The focus of the Back to School campaign has somewhat been on getting alumni to give advice to their 16 year-old self and signing the alumni pledge (www.myalumnipledge.org). What was wonderful for us to see was that, no matter what corner of the world we were getting campaign updates from, the advice alumni were giving their 16-year-old self had a common theme. Education is the key to success key, work hard, and stay focused.
Education has the potential to be the great equaliser. With the right guidance and advice from alumni, young students can gain access to opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise. They’ll gain self-confidence. And they’ll begin to believe that no matter where they’ve come from, they can make it anywhere they want if they try.