Bromsgrove teenager visits Downing Street to put democracy in action

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION: Bromsgrove teenager Emily Watkins, a ONE UK Youth Ambassador, recently visited Downing Street to launch the campaign. SP

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION: Bromsgrove teenager Emily Watkins, a ONE UK Youth Ambassador, recently visited Downing Street to launch the campaign. SP

First published in Local

A BROMSGROVE teenager has put democracy in action during a recent visit to Downing Street.

Emily Watkins, 17, is part of the ONE UK Youth Ambassador Programme.

The programme is recruiting more than 100 volunteers across Europe to lead the fight against extreme poverty by campaigning locally, nationally and online.

Emily, along with 24 others from across the country involved with the programme, visited London to launch the six-month programme.

Duing the visit guest speakers Liz Ford, deputy editor of Guardian development, Joana Cruz-Schilling from Humanitarian Aid and DJ Edith Bowman gave training to the volunteers on media advocacy, lobbying and using social media. 

As part of the launch Emily and the other ambassadors were also taken on a surprise tour of 10 Downing Street, as well as visiting the Department for International Development where they met, and questioned, Parliamentary Under Secretary Of State Lynne Featherstone.

She said: “I was encouraged to meet such dedicated young activists fighting to reduce extreme poverty.

"I am particularly pleased they are focusing on some of my priority areas such as health, access to energy and governance. I’m sure in the future international development will benefit from their exceptional talents.”

The youth ambassadors urged MEPs to place ending extreme poverty on the EU agenda, and to support foreign investment in developing countries.

The ambassadors lobbied MEP candidates for the upcoming elections to the European Parliament asking them to sign to promise to fight against extreme poverty, and to ensure laws make it easier for the world’s poor to lift themselves out of poverty.

Emily said: "The ONE Youth Ambassador launch has taught me a lot, and I have met some really interesting people.

"I really enjoyed my time in London, and still cannot believe I got to go round Downing Street.

"I am really looking forward to campaigning, and hope that we can help to make a difference.”

Diane Sheard, UK Director at ONE, added: "These young ambassadors are the next generation of leaders in development; this is real grassroots activism in action.”

Anyone who wants to support the youth ambassadors can sign the petition by visiting one.org.

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