We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve raised £1 MILLION for our Happily Ever Smarter appeal... and it's all thanks to you!

To celebrate and raise awareness of the growing need, acclaimed actors Amrita Acharia, Jenna Coleman and Nina Wadia have lent their voices to three films showcasing the stories of four girls in Nepal who United World Schools are supporting through our Happily Ever Smarter appeal. 

Amrita, Jenna and Nina

Pictured: Amrita Acharia, Jenna Coleman and Nina Wadia

As the new variant of Covid-19 ravages through rural villages in Nepal, Amrita, Jenna and Nina are backing our appeal to raise urgent funds to support vital healthcare in the communities where UWS works, provide food and other essentials for vulnerable girls, deliver remote learning while schools are closed, and continue transforming children’s futures through education once the pandemic is over.Chimini doing remote learning through the pandemic

The three actors are putting a spotlight on the challenges of getting girls into school and staying in education by sharing their real-life stories with films; Heena* and Soneeya* (voiced by Amrita AchariaChimini*  (voiced by Jenna Coleman) and Preeti* (voiced by Nina Wadia). The girls all live in hard to reach villages, high in the Himalayas in Nepal, where only a third of children complete even a basic education and thousands have never had a chance to go to school. 

Prior to Covid-19, 130 million girls worldwide were already out of school and, in the poor and marginalised communities where children have no access to Zoom or technology, getting access to education is now almost impossible. School closures amid the pandemic have resulted in a loss of learning for millions of children and compounded the already dire progress on the global commitment to guaranteeing a quality education for every child by 2030.

Actor Amrita Acharia said: “My early childhood was spent in Kathmandu and Bharawa, where some of my fondest memories and values are rooted. The entire world has been affected by Covid, but it is particularly distressing to hear how the new variant of Covid-19 is devastating people’s lives there right now, especially with family still living there. The situation is terrifying but starting to abate. For those living in rural areas, the tragedy is starting to unfold.

I voice the stories of Heena and Soneeya – two sisters who have never been to school and dream of what it might feel like to wear a school uniform and sit in a classroom. In the beautiful, but highly inaccessible region where they live, schools can be a long and dangerous journey away and families often need the girls to stay at home to help with chores or to work in the fields." 

Heena and Soneeya's story, narrated by Amrita

"Tragically, the global pandemic means that their chance of getting an education is now even further out of reach - and progress globally in getting children into school is likely to reverse by a decade. United World Schools is now even more determined to reach children in the world’s most remote places with life-changing education. Please join me in helping Heena and Soneeya achieve their dreams.”  

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Actor Jenna Coleman said: “It is deeply shocking to know that even before Covid, 130 million girls were out of school. And it’s still girls that are missing out most on education, leaving them extremely vulnerable to exploitation and early marriage.

“I was humbled to hear about Chimini and her desperation to go to school; how she longs to learn to read and write and wants to understand everything. By adding my voice to Chimini’s story, I hope that many more people will get an insight into the situation faced by millions of girls around the world who, without being able to go to school, have no chance to unlock their potential and build a brighter future. By supporting the Happily Ever Smarter appeal we can give Chimini and thousands of other children a chance to create a better life, beyond poverty. Every girl deserves a right to an education.”

Chimini's story, narrated by Jenna

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Nina Wadia, said: “I narrate the story of Preeti and it’s incredible to learn that she is the very first girl in her family to go to school. She dreams of one day becoming a doctor and helping her community. However, for girls like Preeti, the opportunity to get an education is still very fragile and Covid-19 is now threatening her chance to stay in school. There is a real fear that post the pandemic the habit of education will be broken and millions of girls won’t return to school.”

Preeti's story, narrated by Nina

“United World Schools is doing some great work to keep education alive by delivering learning packs and transmitting lessons over the radio to thousands of children. Right now, United World Schools’ support is more important than ever before.” 

Together, we’re calling for urgent support for children living in some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised communities, as Covid-19 threatens to reverse progress on global education by a decade.

Join Amrita, Jenna and Nina in supporting education at this crucial time; donate to our Happily Ever Smarter appeal today and transform a child’s future forever. 

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