Impact / News


May 4, 2021

5 mins

UK government to match donations made between 29 April and 29 July up to £2 million to help transform children’s lives through education in Nepal and across Asia.

Actor Amanda Redman is supporting the Happily Ever Smarter appeal, launching today [29 April 2021] from United World Schools (UWS), to make going to school a reality for thousands of children living in some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised communities, for the very first time in their lives.

Amanda Redman (New TricksAt Home with the Braithwaites and Good Karma Hospitalhas recorded a voice-over to a short animated film, produced by Partizan Studios. The inspiring story is of just one girl, Kanchi*, 10, who lives in the region of Sankhuwasabha, in Nepal, who works all day in the fields with her grandmother and dreams of going to school. As the film turns from animation to live action footage, we see Kanchi’s dreams turn into reality, as a school is built in her remote village. Kanchi sets off for her first day of school and a chance to transform her future.  


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One in six children worldwide do not have the chance to attend school and in the remote region of Nepal, where Kanchi lives, less than a third of the population complete primary education. Schools are often so far away that it’s dangerous for young children to walk there and there isn’t always an understanding of the importance of education. Children are often needed to work in the fields and at home, keeping them trapped in a cycle of poverty.

Covid-19 has exacerbated this education crisis making it even harder to reach these children. It has been a real challenge for children here in the UK to learn during the pandemic, but for children in extremely remote areas with no technology it’s been almost impossible. Prior to coronavirus 258 million children were already out of school, but the UN estimates that 24 million children may never return to school after lockdown, falling victim to early marriage or a lifetime of poverty. Vital progress made in access to education worldwide will be pushed back by a decade. 

Until 29 July, for every £1 you give UWS the UK government will match your donation by giving another £1 to help primary-age children get a life-changing education in Nepal. All public donations will help children from marginalised communities access education through UWS’ programmes across Asia, by building schools, training teachers, empowering communities and strengthening state education in rural areas. 

Amanda Redman said: “I visited Nepal in 2015, just a few months after the earthquake which devastated the country. It broke my heart to see how the kind, hard-working people I met had completely lost everything. We visited a very remote area where a school had been built, but this had been destroyed too and the children were crowded into tents trying to learn.  

“In these remote areas, I saw how children so desperately want to get an education that they walk for hours along treacherous mountain paths to get to school, and then back again at the end of each day.  I met one young mum, Sunita, whose home had been completely destroyed and they were sheltering in their chicken coup. She told me that all she wanted was for her two daughters to be educated so that they can have a better future. 

“It’s absolutely staggering to learn that even in 2021, one in six children worldwide don’t go to school. Visiting rural Nepal really brought home to me how vitally important education is, it really was eye-opening. We think having education is such a basic thing, and something that every child has a right to, but for so many it’s still a luxury.

“I am honoured to be supporting Happily Ever Smarter and delighted to help share the story of Kanchi – one of the many strong and determined children UWS is helping to go to school for the first time. When I was invited to support this campaign I didn’t need to think twice; I’ve seen first-hand what people are up against and so I jumped at the chance to get involved. What United World Schools is achieving by working hand in hand with local communities in some of the most remote parts of the world is magnificent. I hope that together, we can give thousands more children a chance to have a brighter and more secure future.”

Tim Howarth, CEO of United World Schools, said: “In the remote areas where we work there are thousands of children who have no school to attend. For children who miss out on education the future can look extremely bleak. Girls in particular are vulnerable to exploitation through child labour and early marriage. 

“We’ve already reached 43,000 children with our life-changing education model, by developing schools, investing in local communities and innovating our programmes. We’re delighted to have UK government support for Happily Ever Smarter, as it’s more important than ever that we step up on education and leave no child behind.” 

Award-winning charity UWS aims to raise £2 million with Happily Ever Smarter to build, resource and equip 70 new schools, train 375 local people as community teachers and reach 10,000 more children, like Kanchi, with education. 

Donate to help children live #HappilyEverSmarter before 29th July 2021 and the UK government will double your donations. £10 could provide education for a month for one child… and doubled, we could educate two children! To find out more and donate visit

Notes to Editors:

  1.   For more information, spokespeople, imagery and data on global education please contact:

Karen Garvin  [email protected]  07971 576917

  1.   Downloads available:
  1.   UK Aid Match campaign – From 29 April to 29 July 2021 for every £1 you give to United World Schools the UK government will match your donation by giving another £1. All donations will help children from very remote communities access education across Asia. UK government funding will go to UWS’ programmes in Nepal to help over 8,000 out of school children in some of the most remote areas go to primary school for the very first time. Donations from the British public will be spent across all UWS’ education programmes in Nepal, Cambodia and Myanmar. 
  1.   United World Schools (UWS) builds schools in some of the most remote, impoverished villages in the world and champions inclusive, innovative and sustainable education, including remote learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. Since 2008, UWS has built 250 schools and trained 1,000 local and government teachers and reached 43,000 children in Nepal, Myanmar and Cambodia with a life-changing education. UWS is a 2019 WISE Award Winner for educational innovation, and a 2020 UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize winner for ethnic minority literacy programmes.
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