Pass it on: April  

The first We Day. Anyone heard of it? Okay, let’s try this then: Remember the photograph of dashing Prince Harry kissing his on-off ‘squeeze’ Cressida Bonas at Wembley Arena last month? [Apologies for coming over all ‘tabloid’!] That was We Day.

Still none the wiser? Sadly the message was generally lost in this kiss. The Charity Free the Children works in eight developing countries where it has built 650 schools; it launched in the UK in 2010 delivering its free active citizenship and leadership programmes. We Act is the education programme, We Day is the celebration – the first of which was held in the UK on March 7th.

So, at 9.30am – yes am – on March 7th the Arena was packed full of teenagers and tweenagers – cheering at every announcement from the stage. The guest list was totally random… I mean..eclectic: there was the Prince, Ellie Goulding, the CEO of Barclays Antony Jenkins, Holly Branson, her dad Sir Richard Branson (whose Virgin Atlantic Foundation has signed a three year partnership with Free the Children), dance group Diversity and Al Gore. Yes, you did read correctly.

The star of the show undoubtedly was 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who got a standing ovation. Quite right: she is the embodiment of courage and a true agent for change – having been shot for campaigning for girls’ education in her native Pakistan. She came on stage at just the right time: for even the 12,000-strong audience seem to have wearied of the men in suits exhorting ‘give it up’ or ‘you CAN make a difference’. Al Gore or not.

Gross cynicism aside: schools have been involved in some great fundraising and social justice campaigns. So what’s in it for you? Well, a pretty comprehensive education package. The programme offers young people a variety of opportunities to take action on local and global issues and includes assemblies, workshops, youth summits and travel scholarships.

More than 150,000 young people from more than 700 primary and secondary schools have signed up – so if you can overcome the schmaltz, log in at