Sheffield volunteer Anna shares her India experience at Global Forum

Anna Maheswaran, of Dore, was invited to the UK governments first ever girls Education Forum following a placement in India
Anna Maheswaran, of Dore, was invited to the UK governments first ever girls Education Forum following a placement in India

A young Sheffield volunteer joined top pioneers in women’s rights and education at a special forum in London.

Anna Maheswaran, of Dore, was invited to the UK government’s first ever girls’ Education Forum, where a concrete plan of action was formed to ensure that every girl, everywhere, receives a quality education.

Anna, aged 24, was invited due to the voluntary work she had carried out in India with the International Citizen Service.

Her placement, which spanned from February to May this year, saw her and her team mates organise multiple initiatives with local children, such as a letter writing scheme, in order to develop their writing skills,

Anna said: “This really inspired me and showed me how, with the correct support in place, gender barriers can be broken down and girls can get access to the opportunities they are entitled to.”

The Forum in London was also attended by the likes of former Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, and government ministers from countries including Tanzania and Afghanistan.

Anna took part in a number of workshops and round table discussions about how governments can improve girls’ access to education.

She said: “I’m really pleased to have been invited to the Girls’ Education Forum. When I was in India I saw first-hand how difficult it can be for girls to get a good education. There were very few opportunities available for girls, with most having arranged marriages at 18 and after that becoming a full time housewife.”