"There is a whole generation of kids who we might lose if we don't give them access to education."@priyankachopra spoke about her role as a @UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador at #GESF.— Global Education & Skills Forum (@GESForum) March 18, 2018
Read more about what she had to say here: https://t.co/F2UfHdDDdR pic.twitter.com/udnUwB9Lzb
"There is a whole generation of kids who we might lose if we don't give them access to education," actor, activist and producer Priyanka Chopra said during her talk at the Global Education & Skills Forum in Dubai, which began on Friday and wraps up today.
The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Chopra was discussing the subject of Syrian refuges that have been displaced after the war in Syria. According to Chopra, these refugee kids already think the world has forgotten about them. And a lack of access to education, will reinforce that value, making them pick a gun over a pen as a means to feel like they are gaining control over their lives.
Considering there are an estimated 8 million children in refugee camps, that's a lot of potential violence.
Chopra is just one of the many celebrities, social activists, educators and politicians that came together for the 6th annual Global Education & Skills Forum – a one-of-a-kind event that addressed the challenges of education, equity and employment for all. This year's event theme is; "How do we prepare young people for the world of 2030 and beyond?"
The challenge given to the noteworthy participants was – What do we teach them and how can we take these issues and turn them into real life solutions? It's a very good question, and many have weighed in on it. Speakers discussing their experiences and ideas included three students from the Florida High School shooting that ended the lives of 17 students and was in the US news for weeks, sparking an #enough movement and organization.
According to @priyankachopra children are more vulnerable to the dangers of the world if they don't have an education. This is the strong message she shared at #GESF Live! today. @TeamPriyanka pic.twitter.com/yA5GMjC2mE— Global Education & Skills Forum (@GESForum) March 18, 2018
Charlize Theron also had a few things to say. Theron's own story with gun violence is a well-known one. Her mother shot her father dead in what was legally deemed by court as an act of self-defense. And yet to her, more guns is not the answer.
The actress spoke up about the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement in her industry, claiming that women have found the strength and a voice that has become powerful enough to make a lasting change.
"I think the numbers of women who have found strength and a voice to be able to speak about what had happened to them, things that they've seen, things that they've experienced, is just too powerful for this not to cause change," she said, according to Gulf News. "And so, I can definitely tell you in my industry, hands down, people are thinking differently, they're talking differently, their awareness is at a level it's never been before, and I just don't see how we're going to move backwards from that. We can only move forwards."
Theron was speaking of those teachers who always stood out in school, the ones that were your favorite, who you never wanted to let down because they believed in you. Not the ones that Lewis Hamilton spoke of at the forum…
Hamilton, who was diagnosed as dyslexic when he was 17, said his teachers told him that he would "never amount to anything." But in the true spirit of a champion, he also said that he forgives those who doubted him and hope they are proud of his achievements, reported the Guernsey Press. Now that's the true mettle of a winner.
Chopra, Theron and Hamilton are a few of the guests who will be attending tonight's bash at the Atlantis the Palm, where the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize of $1 million will be given to one very fortunate teacher.
Former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne, Olympic runner, Mo Farah, and Suits stars Sarah Rafferty and Gina Torres are in the city.
While one teacher will walk away with enough money to change her entire future, the other nine finalists are a few that have changed the future course of millions of lives. And that's the biggest prize of all.