Pupils across the UK are invited to join Happily Ever Smarter to help make going to school a reality for thousands of children in the most remote parts of the world Media Contact: Karen Garvin, 07971 576917 UK government to match donations made between 29 April and 29 July up to £2 million to help transform children’s lives through education in Nepal and across Asia. Pupils across the UK are being invited to take part in Happily Ever Smarter [www.unitedworldschools.org] to help make going to school a reality for thousands of children living in some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised communities, for the very first time in their lives. Launching today [29 April 2021], from award winning educational charity United World Schools (UWS), the campaign has free educational resources and a full fundraising kit available to all schools. To inspire students in Class or Assembly, Happily Ever Smarter has produced a short animated film to tell the story of Kanchi*, 10, who lives high in the Himalayan mountains in Nepal, working all day in the fields with her grandmother and dreams of going to school. As the film turns from beautiful animation to stunning live action footage we see Kanchi’s dreams turn into reality, as a school is built in her remote village. Kanchi sets off for her first day of school and a chance to transform her future. One in six children worldwide do not have the chance to attend school and in the rural region of Sankhuwasabha, Nepal, where Kanchi lives, less than a third of children complete primary education. Schools are often so far away that it’s dangerous for young children to walk there and there isn’t always an understanding of the importance of education. Children are often needed to work in the fields and at home, keeping them trapped in a cycle of poverty. Headteacher Dhak Bahadur Poudel, at UWS Majjuwa in Sankhuwasabha, Nepal, explains: “Before this school was established, going to school had been quite difficult; there are rivers on two sides, and a high chance of floods and landslides at all times. So often children had to go to the school that’s an hour’s walk away from here. And it meant that younger children couldn’t go to school at all. “Since working with UWS, we’re now also now including students in other villages like Lakhumalang and Bhaishule. It takes these children around an hour to reach here and during times of storms and heavy rainfall, it gets quite stressful for both students and parents of those students who have to walk to school from a distant village.” The Happily Ever Smarter schools resources consist of four lessons which can be used together or independently. Each lesson is approximately one-hour long and includes a lesson plan, a photocopiable activity sheet, and a real-life story with images. Inspired by the lives of children and teachers in Nepal, lessons: Introduce Education for All and the theme of Happily Ever Smarter Explore barriers to learning, and creative ways to access quality and inclusive education Inspire life-long learning, and sustainable linking between local life with the wider world Challenge students to celebrate new learning and speak up for education! Lessons are designed for Key Stage 3, with stretch suggestions and differentiated stories for Key Stages 1, 2, & 4. They support the whole-school curriculum, with specific links to Global Citizenship, Geography, Literacy, and Art & Design. Covid-19 has exacerbated the education crisis in the remote areas where UWS is working, making it even harder to reach these children. It has been a real challenge for children here in the UK to learn during the pandemic, but for children in extremely remote areas with no technology it’s been almost impossible. Headteacher of Scarisbrick Hall School and Ambassador for UWS Jeff Shaw said: “In our Wellbeing PHSE lessons we use resources from United World Schools which open our pupils’ eyes to really understand what the world is like and how not all children have access to education. They support us to help pupils understand the importance of education, global perspectives and empathy. We’re delighted with how our pupils have engaged; they get a real insight into the barriers to education and how thousands of children in remote areas have many challenges just to complete a basic primary education. “A schools’ role is now more important than it was 12 months ago. In these remote places we know that getting teachers and children back into schools means that tragic consequences can be avoided such as children falling victim to trafficking and child labour. And after the past year here in the UK, I think focusing on the understanding of giving to others builds and restores personal well-being for our pupils as well. “For Happily Ever Smarter we’re challenging our pupils to run to Cambodia – it’s 4200 miles, so on average each pupil has to run 9 miles. We want them to use this opportunity to get their body moving, do things out in the fresh air and understand the value of what giving a small amount of money can actually do to transform another child’s life.” Until 29 July for every £1 raised by schools and the general public, the UK government will match donations by giving another £1 to help primary-age children get a life-changing education in Nepal. All public donations will help children from marginalised communities access education through UWS’ programmes across Asia, by building schools, training teachers, empowering communities and strengthening state education in rural areas. £80 could provide a year’s education for a child…. and doubled, we could educate two children! £150 could provide vital PPE for a remote school for 6 months… and doubled, we could keep children and teachers safe for an entire year. £250 could help us fill a school library with books… and doubled, we could fill two libraries! United World Schools (UWS) aims to raise £2 million with Happily Ever Smarter to build, resource and equip 70 new schools, train 375 local people as community teachers and reach 10,000 more children, like Kanchi, with education. To download educational resources, a fundraising pack and find out more about the 180 Challenge visit www.unitedworldschools.org Notes to Editors: For more information, spokespeople, imagery and data on global education please contact: Karen Garvin [email protected] 07971 576917 Downloads available: Happily Ever Smarter film Kanchi selection of images and first-person story (more stories and images available). Photo credit: Navesh Chitraker. [*Kanchi’s name has been changed to protect her identity] UK Aid Match and Happily Ever Smarter logos UK Aid Match campaign - From 29 April to 29 July 2021 for every £1 you give to United World Schools the UK government will match your donation by giving another £1. All donations will help children from very remote communities access education across Asia. UK government funding will go to UWS’ programmes in Nepal to help over 8,000 out of school children in some of the most remote areas go to primary school for the very first time. Donations from the British public will be spent across all UWS’ education programmes in Nepal, Cambodia and Myanmar. United World Schools (UWS) builds schools in some of the most remote, impoverished villages in the world and champions inclusive, innovative and sustainable education, including remote learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. Since 2008, UWS has built 250 schools and trained 1,000 local and government teachers and reached 43,000 children in Nepal, Myanmar and Cambodia with a life-changing education. UWS is a 2019 WISE Award Winner for educational innovation, and a 2020 UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize winner for ethnic minority literacy programmes. TheHappily Ever Smarter animated film includes a voice-over recorded by actor Amanda Redman [New Tricks, At Home with the Braithwaites and Good Karma Hospital) who is supporting the appeal.