Hello from South Africa! My name is Nthabiseng Tshabalala and I’m 12 years old, and go to Winnie Ngwekazi Primary School in Soweto, South Africa. It has been a huge honor to work on this issue with all of you. Education has changed my life, and I want every child around the world to have the same chance.
During the World Cup, I had the incredible chance to work with Shakira and 1GOAL. Together, we delivered Education Yellow cards from 1GOAL supporters to world leaders who were meeting here in South Africa.
I thought that meeting was big. But next week, all the leaders in the world are meeting at the United Nations to discuss how to deal with issues like education. So this week I’m travelling with the 1GOAL Campaign to New York City! At the summit, I will talk to world leaders, tell them my story, and ask them to make sure every child has a chance to get an education.
I also know they will listen much more closely if they are hearing from many people at once. So now I am asking you to join me. Imagine you could tell all the world leaders what you wanted them to do about education by 2015. What would you say? What kind of future do you want in 2015?
I know I’m very young to be speaking to Presidents and Prime Ministers but they are deciding the future. And it is children, like me, who will live in that future. So I think it is important for us to tell them what kind of future we want to live in.
New York City is farther away from home than I’ve ever been. I’ve always wanted to go to America, so I am very excited and but I’m also very nervous. But I know I should go. I know that these leaders are choosing which future I will grow up with.
It could be a future where every child gets to go to school. That way, if you’re good at maths, you can become an engineer. Or if you are good at science, you can become a scientist. We wouldn’t need to worry about going hungry, because everyone would have good jobs that they are good at doing. (I would like to be a writer. Can you tell?)
Or it could be a future where most kids still can’t go to school. So even really smart people can’t find a job, because they never learned anything. In many places like where I grew up, there would be no engineers to build new buildings and no scientists to help cure diseases. And people will go hungry because they cannot find work.
I am hoping that I can encourage the leaders in New York to choose the better future for me and children around the world.
And I am hoping you will write to me about the world you want in 2015. I want to add all of your voices to mine at the United Nations next week. Please write your answer to me right away:
I believe that this way, we don’t have to just wait to see what the future brings. We can choose our own future.
Thank you for being part of 1GOAL. And thank you for fighting for me and all the other children and adults in the world who are denied an education.