The Duchess of York has launched a fundraising campaign for her charity Street Child, urging the public to donate to give a child an education.
The Count Me In appeal will use the funds to buy school uniforms, train teachers and build classrooms for disadvantaged youngsters in 10 countries from Sierra Leone to Afghanistan.
Speaking to the Press Association the duchess said: “There are 121 million children who don’t go to school.
“They not only don’t go to school but they don’t have the opportunity to go to school … and that statistic has to change.”
Sarah spoke about her daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, who are global ambassadors for Street Child: “My work has saved my life. Kept me grateful, kept my feet on the ground.
“Kept me realising how lucky that my children – Eugenie, as you now know, is disabled with 12in metal rods down her back, Beatrice is dyslexic with special needs at school – and yet they had an education, so why isn’t any other child allowed that same luxury.
“And why is it a luxury?
“Count Me In is a pretty big mountain to climb but if we can do it we will do it.
“Give before 21 February 2019 and public donations to Street Child’s Count Me In campaign will be matched by the UK Government.”
The charity said £15 would pay a child’s school fees, while £300 enables it to train a teacher. All money from the Government will be used just for the charity’s work in Sierra Leone.
Street Child was formed by a merger of an organisation of the same name founded by Tom Dannatt, son of Lord Dannatt, former head of the British Army, and Sarah’s Children in Crisis organisation.
Sarah recently travelled to Nepal where Street Child works to learn about the challenges children face in the country.
The duchess, Street Child’s founder patron, said: “What I saw was in fact massive hope from the children because someone was listening and yet they had nothing.”
She described how she met a young girl called Ruby who wanted a school for her community so she could be educated and one day become a teacher.
Sarah added: “If we don’t build a school for Ruby in two years’ time she will have to get married at the age of 12 in order to sustain herself in the local area because of tribe rules.
“If we can get a school so she can get her dream to be a teacher, imagine that story.
“Those children were fantastic, all they wanted was a chance and surely Street Child can give them that chance.”