Global Student Forum

Against Their Will

Global Student Forum 2015

Annie Bolton U6 writes:

This year the members of the Global Student forum were deeply moved when we became aware of the plight of young people caught up in the world of forced marriage and honour based abuse.  Our awareness of the issue was raised as a result of a talk at school given by Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, founder Karma Nirvana, a charity dedicated to helping those subject to forced marriages and honour crimes. It was not a problem that we had really associated with the modern world in which we live. Long overlooked for fear of offending religious sensibilities, it has now been exposed as a result of cultural factors and no major religion in the world actually advocates forced marriage.

Jasvinder Sanghers CBE, Founder of Karma Nirvana

In 2014 alone the Forced Marriage Unit gave advice and support to more than 1267 cases of individual women in the UK and where the age was known, more than 20% were under 18 years. The figures for Hampshire show a significant number of girls requesting help, particularly from Portsmouth and Southampton, but it is believed many more do not know where to turn. The statistics highlight the need to a raise awareness of the issue in order for girls at risk to know where they can go to for help, so that they can be kept safe, complete their education and make choices about their future for themselves when they are ready.

For this reason the Global Student Forum organised an event, Against Their Will, on the 3 March 2016 to bring the issues to light and hopefully enable more young women to know there is help available. We were delighted to have the support of The Forced Marriage Unit of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Chaz Akoshile who is Joint Head of the FMU who spoke at the event. We also heard from Mandip Ghai, Senior Legal Officer with Rights of Women, who advises victims and survivors of forced marriage and who manages the Ascent Project. In addition we were thrilled have representatives from local organisations who also contributed to what was a very informative and successful evening. 

 

Learning for Life

January 21 2014

Genevieve Sharland U6 writes

This year Global Student Forum is heading in a new direction in order to promote the issue of girls’ education. Around the world there are currently 65 million girls who are not in education. In order to do our part to help the situation, we’ve been very busy planning for an event which will be taking place on 25 March 2014 at 7:30pm here in Harvey Hall at St Swithun's.  The event follows on from the enormous success of St Swithun’s Legging it for Lira which raised a total of £23,000 for education at St Katherine’s in Uganda.

The event this March, will involve a viewing of the film Girl Rising, an emotional film which follows the journey of nine young girls in their fight for their right to get an education. In the run up to the film screening, the GSF team have been writing to everyone from local schools to church groups and brownies, inviting them to join us for this exciting event.

We are delighted to announce that Laura Trant, presenter of BBC’s South Today, will be opening the event for us here at St Swithun’s. Laura, like us, is passionate about girls’ education. We are also pleased to be joined by Sir Edward Clay former British High Commissioner to Uganda, Cyprus and Kenya.

As we continue to make plans for the 25 March in school, we are promoting the severity of the issue to the lower school by running a number of interactive lessons towards the end of the term. We know that engaging the lower school will not only promote the cause, but also raise the profile of the event. We look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.

Please click here for a printable version of the film invitation.

If you would like to attend the event, which is free for both adults and children, please contact dykesk@stswithuns.com

Shape the Future competition

In June 2014, a group of budding philanthropists from U5 travelled to the Department of International Development for the final of the 2014 Shape the Future competition. We started off by watching inspirational young speakers addressing the issue of girls’ education. Soon we were invited up on stage to present our video, which compiled the issues and possible solutions to the lack of girls’ education worldwide. Having seen our competitors’ entries, and after 5 minutes of intense anticipation, the results were announced with us coming a respectable second place. Overall we had an amazing experience and even managed to have a sneaky chat with Justine Greening MP (Secretary of State for International Development), the perfect example of a strong independent woman.

By Nat de la Tong and G-Dawg (alias Natalie Tong and Georgia Onslow)

Hungry for Justice

21 November 2012

Hatty Haines U6 writes:

On Thursday 8th November, some of the GSF girls had the opportunity to attend a question and answer session with Winchester MP Stephen O’Brien. Before the session started we heard from a young primary school teacher who set up a charity which costs just £150 a month to run and which looks after children from the street at pre-school age before sending them onto school. Her account was inspiring and we hope she will come and visit us at school to tell us more about it.

Shortly after this Stephen O’Brien arrived and the discussions got underway. We heard about his experiences working in the coalition government and his time as minister for the Department for International Development. What we all found interesting was hearing about the government’s view on the country’s moral responsibility to help the international community and to improve international relations verses our government’s duty to its own people. He was very open about the issue of delivering international aid as being in everybody’s interest.

Mr O’Brien answered questions from members of the community including one from our own Holly Woodward which questioned why so much money (never exceeding 0.7% total budget, averaging £7bn pa) is put into international aid when it could be used to sort out problems in our own country, such as looking after the elderly. Mr O’Brien answered questions with clarity and we came away feeling positive about the government’s stance on international aid.

20 November 2012

Clare Symons U6 writes:

The autumn term always feels the longest at school, however, for the GSF group this has provided us with a chance to be proactive and develop our ideas for the coming year. Having done an assembly reminding the school of the issue of unjustifiable global food distribution, we have now concentrated on our various aims.

Before half term we took the L5 for an hour-long lesson, explaining to them the details of everything we learned about the global market and food distribution at the GSF conference in June. The lesson was very productive, with the L5 learning about the inequalities within the global market and how it would feel to be on the receiving end of the challenges faced by individuals every day. However, it is not only the L5 that we will be educating and we are already planning lessons for the L6 and also hopefully for some prep schools in the local community.

However, on top of our list (as true Swithun’s girls) is chocolate. We have sold over 130 Fairtrade chocolate advent calendars this term in another step towards transforming our school into a fair trade organisation. Thank you for placing your orders so quickly; we hope you enjoy the amazing Divine chocolate in the build-up to Christmas!

Following on from this, the aquisition of fair trade cotton hoodies, or rugby shirts, for the cast of Romeo and Juliet is well under way.

These past few weeks we have been doing market research into the possibility of turning our school into a fair trade school. It will be a challenge, but we really hope it takes off and will become a legacy that our school can be proud of. I do not have enough space to even begin commenting on the benefits of such a venture, but if we learned one thing from the June conference it was that as students we really can make changes in the world; for us, this will be the first of many.

10 October 2012

 Mrs K Batten (Politics) writes:

The autumn term always feels the longest at school, however, for GSF this has provided us with a chance to be proactive and develop our ideas for the coming year. Having done an assembly reminding the school of the issue of unjustifiable global food distribution, we have now concentrated on our various aims.

Before half term we will be taking the L5 for an hour-long lesson, explaining to them the details of everything we learned about the global market and food distribution at the GSF conference in June. However, it is not only L5 that we will be educating, we hope to extend our knowledge to the wider community, and during fair trade week next year we will hopefully be visiting prep schools around the area and teaching younger children about the crisis of world hunger.

However, on top of our list (as true Swithun’s girls) is chocolate. We will be selling fair trade chocolate advent calendars this term in another step towards transforming our school into a fair trade organisation. These will be sold for £3.60 each and can be paid for by cheque, so place your orders as soon as possible…Divine chocolate is amazing!

Following on from this, the possibility of fair trade cotton hoodies, or rugby shirts, for the cast of Romeo and Juliet is coming along. We hope to start the purchasing process over the coming weeks.

These past few weeks we have been doing market research into the possibility of turning our school into a fair trade school. It will be a challenge, but we really hope it takes off and will become a legacy that our school can be proud of. I do not have enough space to even begin commenting on the benefits of such a venture, but if we learned one thing from the June conference it was that as students we really can make changes in the world; for us, this will be the first of many.

8 October 2012

Hattie Haines U6 writes:

It’s been 2 and a half months since a group of 13 girls in the current U6 went to the Global Student Forum in Westminster on the topic of ‘Hungry For Justice’. We all found the conference interesting and it seemed to hit a nerve with many of us. We have all come back to school in our U6 year hoping to apply what we’ve learned to educate the rest of the girls and hopefully transfer our passion to them. We will be joining with some of the L6 so that they can get involved and help us run it this year.

Our main targets at the moment are to investigate the chance of us becoming a fair trade school. This may include fair trade food in the dining room and the school shop, maybe even fair trade hoodies for cast and crew of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ We are also hoping to give girls and parents the option of buying a fair trade advent calendar through school. Watch this space for many exciting events we’ll be organising this year!