Pupils at Manchester High School for Girls were encouraged to be “outrageous” and “unreasonable” at the school’s annual Founders’ Day ceremony at the Bridgewater Hall recently.
Former pupil Liz Wilson returned to her Manchester High roots to address an audience made up of past and present pupils, parents, staff and governors. As senior executive of the Small Foundation, Liz works towards ending extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa and has also spent time working with the Chinese government and the UK’s Department for International Development, as well as undertaking humanitarian work in The Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Founding our school was outrageous to many, and some certainly thought it was unreasonable to spend time and money on educating women,” she said. “In honour of our school’s founders, I want to encourage girls to approach their journey through life being outrageous and unreasonable.
“We have been working at society for a long time, and yet the world is full of many forms of illogical and preventable injustice. I ask you to feel outraged at global poverty which continues to condemn hundreds of millions of people to a life of unfilled potential. I encourage you to find professional and personal fulfillment and make a contribution to the world we share.”
The event also marked Manchester High’s international outreach activities, including this summer’s sports tour to South Africa. The tour will see pupils raising funds for the Winnie Mabaso Foundation that cares for the country’s orphaned children. The girls will spend a day volunteering with the foundation and getting involved with its projects.
Claire Hewitt, headmistress of Manchester High School for Girls, said: “This inspirational event and address from Liz Wilson really encouraged our girls to reflect on the founding of Manchester High and to be grateful for the exciting opportunities the school provides. We are very proud of Liz’s achievements within the field of international development and we hope she is just as proud of the contributions that our current pupils are making to the wider world.”