Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan and UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman today met with students and staff at the highly successful Young Women’s Leadership School in East Harlem to discuss the important role that quality education plays in improving children’s lives.
Queen Rania, who has served as UNICEF’s Eminent Advocate for Children since 2007, has supported a number of education initiatives focused on getting girls into school. She became United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative’s (UNGEI) Honorary Global Chair in July 2009.
The visit is Her Majesty Queen Rania’s first to New York since her UNGEI appointment.
“Providing quality education to girls is a sound investment that helps build a brighter future for their communities and their countries,” said Veneman. “Her Majesty Queen Rania is a strong voice promoting access to a quality education for children around the world.”
For nine consecutive years, 100 per cent of graduates of the Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem have been accepted into institutions of higher education.
During their visit to the middle and high school today, HM Queen Rania and Executive Director Veneman visited classrooms and then spoke to a 100-student assembly. They also took questions during a 100-student assembly before visiting the library equipped with computers where she showed girls how their voices can be heard through the 1Goal campaign.
“I want you, girls with voices, to speak up and shout out for girls whose cries fall silent,” said HM Queen Rania. “I want you to fight for them, as others are fighting for you. I want you to pull up another girl, and help her stand tall and strong. I want you to be great, and inspire greatness in others. If anyone can do it, you can.”
Queen Rania also showed girls how their voices can be heard through the 1Goal campaign on computers in the school library.
As Honorary Global Chair of UNGEI, HM Queen Rania lends her support to a global partnership of organizations from both the United Nations family and civil society that is committed to achieving gender equality in education.
UNGEI was established in 2000 to provide the extra support that girls in many countries need to enter and stay in school. Since 1999, the total number of out-of-school children has dropped by 16 per cent globally. Despite this progress, there are still approximately 100 million children out of school, and the majority are girls.
Photo above: UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan visiting a science class at The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem in New York City.
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