Department for International Development
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Reggie and Douglas go back to school

Reggie and Douglas go back to school

DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT News Release (Reggie and Douglas go back to school) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 5 March 2009

The Secretary of State for International Development, Douglas Alexander, and Comic Relief supporter, Reggie Yates, have today marked the start of a new ground breaking education initiative that's all set to make a huge difference to some of the 35 million children across Africa who can't go to school.

For the first time ever, as part of this year's Red Nose Day campaign, schools across the UK are being asked to choose how the cash the raise gets spent to help overcome three of the major barriers that prevent kids across Africa from going to school.

The amazing news is that, along with brilliant money raised by school children across the country, the Government is adding an additional £5million to be spent on this great cause.

Douglas Alexander was joined by Comic Relief supporter and TV presenter, Reggie Yates, earlier today when they went to visit Sir John Lawes School in Hertfordshire to see school pupils in the UK choose how the cash they raise gets spent.

Using brand new Comic Relief teaching materials, the Secretary of State for International Development explained the barriers that many African kids face and helped pupils to think about how they'd like their fundraising money to be spent.

Douglas Alexander said, "I'm urging schools across the country to do something funny for money this Red Nose Day. The Government will match the money raised in the UK to help children in Africa get the chance to go to school. We've set a side an incredible £5 million for this. So have fun, get fundraising and let's make an even bigger difference!"

Radio 1 DJ Reggie Yates said: "It's been great to take the lesson today with The International Development Secretary. I've been really impressed to see the pupils choose where their money goes. It empowers our kids in the UK and will make a huge difference in Africa."

In Africa some children's families are too poor to afford school. Other children aren't able to go because they have to help at home when a family member is sick. And some are so busy fending for themselves away from home that they just can't go to school. UK schools are helping to break down these barriers when they fundraise this Red Nose Day. Teachers can download teaching resources to help their pupils make their choice from http://www.rednoseday.com/schools.

For more information about what Department for International Development are doing with schools around the UK, see DFID, see http://www.dfid.gov.uk/discoveryzone/

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Editors Notes

For more information contact the Comic Relief Press Office or the UK Department for International Development (DFID): Dominique Vincent: 0207 840 2527/ d.vincent@comicrelief.com or Helle Nordberg, Department for International Development, 03070231722/ h-nordberg@dfid.gov.uk

* This Red Nose Day, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) is matching, up to an incredible £5 million, the money raised to help get the hardest to reach children in Africa into school. This means your fundraising will make an even bigger difference. For more information about what DFID are doing with schools around the UK, see DFID, see http://www.dfid.gov.uk/discoveryzone/

* Red Nose Day is going back to its roots, asking people to Do Something Funny for Money!

* The Red Nose Day fundraising kit includes loads of ideas to help you Do Something Funny for Money! Order your copy now at http://www.rednoseday.com

* Comic Relief's vision is to create a just world, free from poverty

* Comic Relief has raised half a billion pounds to date, £420m of which from the 11 Red Nose Days that have taken place in the UK so far.

* Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England / Wales); SC039730 (Scotland)

* Comic Relief spends all the money raised giving extremely poor and disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa a helping hand to turn their lives around.

DFID, the Department for International Development: leading the British government's fight against world poverty. One in five people in the world today, over 1 billion people, live in poverty on less than one dollar a day. Information Department 1 Palace Street, London SW1E 5HE. Website: http://www.dfid.gov.uk

Public enquiries 0845 300 4100 (overseas +44 1355 84 3132)

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