Malala Day: School Reporters' updates from the UN

Holly and Lauren Holly and Lauren interview Gordon Brown, the UN's Special Envoy for Global Education

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School Reporters Holly and Lauren, from Bartley Green School in Birmingham, are on the reporting trip of a lifetime, covering Malala Yousafzai's historic appearance at the United Nations in New York as part of an event to raise awareness of the importance of education.

As they report for a host of BBC outlets and interview some of the big names and young people at the event, they are also recording their latest news and reaction from New York.

From reflections on interviewing former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to details of their big breakfasts, this is where you'll hear all the behind-the-scenes news and colour from the Big Apple.


Holly and Lauren's interview with Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education was featured on BBC News' Six and Ten O'clock programmes - watch the full report here.

Holly ended her day with a doing her first live 'down-the-line' TV interview from the UN for BBC Midlands Tonight, explaining the event and what meeting Malala was like.

"It was extremely nerve-wracking as no one there to interview me, just an ear piece so [there was silence] until they spoke to me," Holly said.


School Reportes Lauren, Holly and teacher Ms Mole with Malala Lauren, Holly and teacher Ms Mole spoke to Malala after her UN speech

"So, after the assembly we got the lucky chance to meet the most inspirational girl in the world: Malala. It was an honour to be present along with the UN icons.

"We had a really good chat about school life in Birmingham and out of the blue, football! We weirdly discovered that we were all Manchester United supporters."


"As we waited to go into the youth assembly we had a quick scan of the programme and information sheets given to all delegates, which includes details of some of the young people who have had to fight for education.

"It is so sad to read about stories of all the 'other Malalas' and how they've had to fight to go to school.

"But it also shows how they've turned it around and overcome it too. It's really powerful."


School Reporters get ready on Malala Day

"We've had a hectic morning with an early start and quick breakfast needed to get to the UN.

"We were expecting queues to get through security knowing 500 other young people were coming but we were able to skip the line. We just showed off our media passes to get in before the rush!

"We've now got another accreditation pass to add to the three we're already wearing and this one shows we're officially part of the UN's first youth assembly. Trusteeship Chamber Council here we come!"


"We recorded a report for BBC World Service, using some of the best interviews we did with some of the young people here earlier.

"The report is now up on the School Report website to listen to!"


"After all our preparation it was exciting to actually do the interview with Gordon Brown.


Holly and Lauren
  • Holly and Lauren are 15-year-old pupils from Bartley Green School in Birmingham who are in New York as part of the BBC's reporting team to cover a unique Youth Assembly and Malala Yousafzai's keynote speech
  • In March on School Report's annual News Day they co-presented BBC Radio 4's Women's Hour with Jenni Murray
  • Stories covered by the girls on air included the issue of safety on buses in the wake of the fatal stabbing of schoolgirl Christina Edkins on her way to school

"It actually felt a lot more comfortable than we thought; he helped make it more relaxed so it felt almost more like a conversation.

"We tried to personalise our questions. Holly told him how she wants to be a teacher and asked him about the shortage of them - the interview was most interesting when he related his answers back to us.

"We think he listened to us because he reflected back some of our questions in his answers but sometimes it was quite overwhelming with all the figures and statistics he was quoting back to us!

"When he talked about Malala he showed he was really passionate, he knew all about her and clearly cared about what she was saying. It makes us even more excited to hear her speech later today!

"Along with hearing Malala sharing her story, we've also been talking to other young delegates involved to find out why education is so important to them and their experiences of school.


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It's made us realise how lucky we are and how we take going to school for granted”

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"After getting into the UN building, we started to interview some of the 500 young delegates who are also in New York to hear Malala speak and to offer their perspective on the importance of education.

"It was fascinating to speak to some of the young people from all over the world - from Indonesia to Uganda - and hear their stories. It has really given us an insight into what some children have to go through just to get an education

"Some of them spend two-and-a-half hours to get to school and we moan about our journey taking 10 minutes - and we don't get the hassle that they do."

Delegate Dina Dina has set her hopes high for the future

"We were completely taken aback by the way they have such high hopes for the future, given the struggles they have.

"I was really amazed by Dina from Indonesia, who wanted to be President, and had no doubt about it. How many people do we know that have such high aspirations?

"The most we seem to hear are about kids wanting to be on the X-Factor or footballers.

"It's made us realise how lucky we are and how we take going to school for granted."


"After our first ever plane journey being delayed for two hours, we had a 10-hour flight full of excitement and nerves!

"Now we're here we're surrounded by towering buildings that really reflect how big New York actually is. The atmosphere is completely overwhelming... especially with the humidity here too.

"We've only been in New York for a few hours, but we've already experienced traditional pancakes in a diner! We need our energy for the day ahead!

"Hopefully our filling breakfast will keep us going for the busy day ahead. We're going to the UN...!"

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