Pupils at Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe recently took part in a two day National Commonwealth Youth Summit in London.
Four Year 10 pupils, Charlotte Calnun, Sherin Achandy, Conor Lightbown and Lewis Miniero, were selected to take part in the National Commonwealth Youth Summit. During the summit they had the opportunity to visit two High Commissions and meet with MP’s regarding local and national issues; they were selected after performing well at a recent Commonwealth Summit in Manchester. The aim of the event was to promote international understanding across the Commonwealth, especially among young people
The pupils spent an afternoon at the Royal Commonwealth Society headquarters before visiting the Brunei High Commission, where they met the Second Secretary, Dino Ayup and the Ghana High Commission, where they met the Minister for Economics and Politics, Ramses Cleland. Their focus was to gather information as to how the countries are working towards Millennium Goal targets and whether they will reach their targets by 2015.
On the second day, they spent the day at Marlborough House which is the Commonwealth Secretariat headquarters, here they staged a Heads of Commonwealth meeting and then presented a group communiqué to the Deputy Chief Secretary General, Ms Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba.. The communiqué detailed how they believe young people can help Commonwealth countries achieve their goals, for example, raising awareness in schools about the Millennium Development Goals – again another successful and enjoyable day.
“The London trip was extremely successful, the pupils were a credit both to themselves and to the school. The Ghana Minister for Politics and Economics, Ramses Cleland, was particularly impressed with Charlotte Calnun, he told her that she had definite Prime Minister qualities!” explained Ms Laura Huddleston from Saint Paul’s. “The summit gave the pupils the chance to learn about international issues in an interactive and meaningful forum and allowed them to put their views to senior members of the Commonwealth and UK government.”
Ms Huddleston added: “During the summit, the pupils were able to gain a first-hand understanding of what the Commonwealth is all about, by taking a tour of its headquarters and meeting some of its leaders. It was a real opportunity to get their voices heard.”
“This was a fantastic opportunity for our pupils, they were able to learn much more about key international issues,” commented Mr Wiktor Daron, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “The summit brought to life major international issues and enabled our pupils to meet with other young people from across the country and to take their ideas forward to leaders from the UK Government and the Commonwealth.”