A reflection from Finn, a 2020 Send My Friend to School Campaign Champion

My name is Finn, I’m 14 and I come from Yorkshire. I am interested in politics and enjoy keeping up with current affairs and trying to understand the global shifts in why people vote the way they do. I am also very passionate about children’s rights, and about how, even in the 21st century, not all children have access to education. This particular opinion led me on to working with Send my Friend to school, where I became a campaign champion by doing an interview, application, and 7 training sessions teaching us how to make speeches, talk to people in power and campaign effectively. 

After the sessions took place, I was selected to attend the Save the Children Global Hangout, which aimed to get children from 6 different countries to voice their concerns and ideas about the Covid-19 school closures, and the leaders to respond with the measures that they are putting in place nationally and globally. For the event, I was required to write a speech where I would focus on Send my Friend’s ideas around the #RightClimateToLearn campaign and also on the growing inequalities between state and private schools due to Covid-19. I also asked a question to Baroness Sugg, the UK Prime Minister’s Special for Girls’ Education, regarding the issues raised in my speech. 

The event went really well. It was so encouraging to hear children across this planet with the same views and concerns, and the ability to voice them together to ministers was really satisfying. I got special praise from the Canadian Minister for International Development, Karina Gould, for my passion for politics and campaigning, and am also in touch with Save the Children about future events I could participate in. For children to speak with those in power is so important; sometimes I think they fail to look at the impacts their decisions have on young people who can’t yet vote, and instead think only about the influence their decisions will have on their upcoming electoral results. Chances to speak to global leaders like this are vital in making our views known to them and ensuring tomorrow’s society is fit for the youth of today. This is why I would like to give massive thanks to Save the Children for running the event, but more so to Send my Friend to School for preparing me so well with the skills needed to make my speech, and also the opportunity itself! It was a privilege to speak for the young people of the UK, and I am looking forward to continuing my campaigning in the future.