CAMPAIGNING schoolchildren in Newcastle joined a World Wide Walk to stand up for some of the poorest girls in the world.

Pupils from Newcastle High School for Girls, St Cuthbert’s High School, Richardson Dees Primary School and West Denton Primary School are walked through the city of Newcastle on Friday 27th March to raise money for Plan UK’s Because I am a Girl campaign.

They joined thousands of other girls around the UK in walking more than 40,000km (25,000 miles) – the distance around the globe – for the cause.

“No-one bears the brunt of poverty more than girls,” says Tanya Barron, Chief Executive of Plan UK.

“Millions of girls are out of school, subjected to violence, including child marriage, and denied a voice. Access to a quality education is vital to ensure girls reach their full potential.

“The World Wide Walk helps highlight the importance of girls’ education. The support of schoolchildren here in the UK really can help girls across the world transform their own lives and those of their communities,” adds Ms Barron.

Globally, one in five adolescent girls is not in school. Educated girls are less likely to marry young and have children early, and are more likely to understand and realise their rights.

Plan UK’s Because I am a Girl campaign aims to help millions of the world’s poorest girls stay in school, live free from violence and have their voices heard.

Plan Uk - face upOver 1200 pupils, from as young as 3 years old, from the four schools are taking part in the walk and will be joined by Debbie Langdon Davies, the daughter of the Founder of Plan Uk and Chi Onwaurah, MP for Newcastle Central.

CChi Onwurahhi Onwurah said: “It’s great to see so many young people from across Newcastle coming together to walk for girls rights in other parts of the world.  As a child in Newcastle I knew I was lucky to have easy access to great schools; it’s heart breaking to think that in the 21st C many, many girls are still denied an education and the opportunity to break out of the situations they face every day.  It’s good to know that today’s event will have a positive effect on the lives of others.”

The pupils from the four schools are aiming to raise £35 each in sponsorship. £35 will pay for one girl to go to school for a whole year in some parts of the world where education is not the norm.

Hilary French, headmistress at Newcastle High School for Girls, is a staunch supporter of the work of Plan UK and in February visited Uganda with the charity to see for herself the plight of girls and how the work of Plan UK is making a real difference.

She said: “It was very moving to see what an amazing impact a relatively small amount of money in European terms, can make and we hope through this walk to help over 1000 girls access an education they would never have been able to have. I met a lot of girls in Uganda and they passed me some questions they wanted to ask the pupils at Newcastle High. The types of questions they wanted to ask highlight just how vulnerable they are: they referenced early marriage, early childbirth and sexual violence.

“The Ugandan girls I met were also incredibly touched by the support of the pupils here in Newcastle and they have sent us some fabulous good luck messages which have helped to make our World Wide Walk campaign even more meaningful.”

If you would like to support the pupils in raising money for Plan UK, please visit our

Justgiving page

You can also donate via texting NHSG50 to 70070 plus an amount of £3, £5 or £10

Click here to see the coverage in The Chronicle


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