Better Angels with Sarah Brown

Global campaigner and author Sarah Brown chats with people who've had a positive influence on the world around them, and unearths the lessons to help us do the same. Find out how to develop the better angel inside yourself. Featuring stories from globally renowned campaigners, Nobel Prize winners, celebrities, politicians and remarkable young people, Better Angels with Sarah Brown champions the activist spirit.
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Global campaigner and author Sarah Brown chats with people who've had a positive influence on the world around them, and unearths the lessons to help us do the same. Find out how to develop the better angel inside yourself. Featuring stories from globally renowned campaigners, Nobel Prize winners, celebrities, politicians and remarkable young people, Better Angels with Sarah Brown champions the activist spirit. 



Executive Producer:Ben Hewitt & Lolita Laguna

Editor: Lolita Laguna

Music: Pete Lyons

Photo: Brian Aris

Studio: People's Postcode Lottery studio in Edinburgh

Oct 1, 2020

Rangina Hamidi, the Minister of Education in Afghanistan, talks to Sarah Brown about growing up as a child refugee in Pakistan.

She says she was faced with threats of acid attacks just because she went to school.

Her parents decided to flee to America to enable her and her sister to have an education.  

She says the struggles she faced as a child made her determined to fight against the injustices in the world.  

Sep 29, 2020

Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact, talks to Sarah Brown about how businesses can take positive action to address some of the world's biggest challenges.

Talking about climate change, she says that businesses have a choice: they can grow in a "GDP-led way" or follow "a green model of growth".

"If [these decisions] are made correctly, we can avert what looks like a very bleak future in terms of climate," she says.

She says that the Covid-19 pandemic has presented businesses and the United Nations with “a point of reflection” and an opportunity to reevaluate their priorities.

Sep 27, 2020

Danielle Green, a Theirworld Global Youth Ambassador from the United Kingdom, speaks to Sarah Brown about the importance of children receiving a good quality education.

Danielle says: “It really matters that children have not just an education or appear in an educational space, but that what they're being taught is really, really relevant and important.”

She tells Sarah that a good quality education helps children “take charge of their own destiny.”

Sep 25, 2020

Palak Sharma, a Theirworld Global Youth Ambassador from India, talks to Sarah Brown about the challenges facing the education system in her country.

She says that if the country is serious about advancing education for children, they must address issues around sanitation at the same time. 

“The important task right now is to ensure that these two goals of education and sanitisation start working together in collaboration," she says.

Sep 23, 2020

Marianne Bitar Karam, Country Director at DOT Lebanon, a non-governmental organisation, speaks to Sarah Brown about the challenges facing children in her country during Covid-19.

She says that the digital divide in Lebanon meant that many children were excluded from education because they were unable to access online learning materials during the pandemic.

She also says that children in Lebanon were missing out on important lessons in social cohesion.

"We've lost something important," she says. "School or the formal education setting was a reason for students and adults to come together and to accept each other, to listen to each other, to create connectors between refugees."

Asked what motivates her, Marianne said it is her passion for her job, country and people that drives her to do what she does.

Sep 19, 2020

Obakeng Leseyane, a Theirworld Global Youth Ambassador, talks to Sarah Brown about the transformational impact of education on others.

He says that educating even just one child has a "ripple effect" on their community. 

Growing up in Rustenburg, South Africa, Obakeng was told that the only way to be successful was to become a platinum miner.

He changed his fortune after receiving the highest educational scholarship in South Africa, something his family could have never dreamed of. 

He now works in his community to help other children access education opportunities.

Sep 17, 2020

Theo Sowa, CEO, The African Women's Development Fund, talks to Sarah Brown about the rampant inequalities around the world which are depriving children of a better future.  

She says that in the current situation, children who have benefited the most are those "who are wealthier and who are in economically secure situations."

To help the most marginalised children across the globe, she says it is time to get  "radical about our inclusiveness.”

 Theo says that good quality education for all children should be seen as just as important as basic needs like food, sanitation and shelter.

Sep 15, 2020

Annemiek Hoogenboom, Country Director, People's Postcode Lottery, tells Sarah Brown that "radical goals, patience and execution" are the building blocks for change.

She also says that luck has a big part to play. She says: "When we admit that a big part of our success is pure luck, it makes us want to help other people more.“

Annemiek also touches on her mission to improve the plight of girls by advocating for their education. 

Sep 13, 2020

Sarah Brown talks to Emanuel "Boo Milton", about his work as a community organiser and youth advocate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

When Covid-19 struck, Boo created activity packs - called Spark Boxes - for children to ensure that they were able to continue their learning during the pandemic.  

Talking about the power of learning, he says: "Education unlocks that special light that is inside all of us. I feel like all of us have a greatness that lies within us and education helps us articulate that.”

Sep 11, 2020

Tariq Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares, talks to Sarah Brown about the importance in developing countries of providing parents with incentives to send their children to school. 

He says that health and sanitation programs which ensure children are fed and kept clean in the classroom help to persuade parents of the benefits of sending their children to school.

Al Gurg said that instead of going to school girls in poorer countries are often made to stay at home to help with the domestic responsibilities while boys are sent to work to earn money for their families.

He also argued that without quality education some of the greatest problems facing humanity, like COVID-19, will never be resolved.

Sep 9, 2020

John Goodwin, CEO of The LEGO Foundation, talks to Sarah Brown about the need to “redefine” play and “reimagine” learning. 

He argues that play is often overlooked by society when in fact it helps children to develop important skills for adult life, such as critical thinking and problem solving.

“Play is the way that children are naturally wired to learn and by subjugating it to the end of line means that children are really inhibited from having the opportunity to get the maximum learning opportunity,” he says.

John also talks about the important role that education played in his own life, particularly teachers, who helped him to develop self-belief, confidence and resilience.

Sep 7, 2020
Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, speaks with Sarah Brown about the need for young people to vote - and to vote well - if they want to make a difference to people’s lives. 
In the inaugural episode of this Better Angels podcast series, he argues that voting  is “the most basic and fundamental form of engagement” in democratic countries.


He also discusses the education crisis facing millions of child refugees around the world - a crisis which has been exacerbated by Covid-19. 


Calling for greater investment in the education of young refugees, he says that  “education is as important for refugees as it is for anyone”.
Apr 29, 2020

Refugee camps in Greece remain overcrowded and unhygienic beyond imagination, but until Covid-19 struck new education centres were a daily lifeline for children who had fled conflict and persecution, many arriving after perilous journeys from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

This episode provides a glimpse into life in those camps and talks to the team behind Theirworld’s new report that offers a way forward out of the refugee education crisis. Sarah talks to organisations making a difference there, and to two refugees who shed their personal light on what those on the islands are going through.

Sarah talks to Maysa Jalbout, author of the report ‘Finding Solutions to Greece’s Refugee Education Crisis’; Justin van Fleet, president, Theirworld; Abi Hewitt, CEO and co-founder of Love Welcomes; Tanko Doris Laure, refugee from Cameroon; Sanda Leslie, refugee from Cameroon; Josie Naughton, chief executive officer, Help Refugees; Naoko Imoto, education chief UNICEF Partnership Office in Greece.  

Theirworld is a major funder of education on the Greek Islands – with the support of the People’s Postcode Lotteries and our many individual supporters – in partnering with Education Cannot Wait, UNICEF, UNHCR and many local charities and groups.

Apr 22, 2020

Sarah Brown explores the themes of the new Penguin paperback How to Go Work, and its subtitle, the Honest Advice No Else Ever Tells You, with authors Lucy Clayton and Steven Haines.

Initially recorded just before lockdown for young activists and those starting out on their careers, Steven and Lucy then added an interview about how the coronavirus crisis is requiring all of us who are lucky enough to still be working to re-evaluate the value and impact of what we are doing.

Steven draws on his extensive campaign experience at Save the Children, and Lucy on her background in advertising and ethical fashion, to provide valuable advice in this challenging time to be starting out in the world of work, or beginning a new job or project.

Mar 8, 2020

Sarah Brown talks to guests at Theirworld’s sixth International Women’s Day event, where women from all walks of life, with a few men dotted around, gathered to talk and share their experiences, contacts and ideas on how to unlock big change for girls and young women.

We hear Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Nigerian finance minister and World Bank managing director, nearly moved to tears as she accepted our first Unlock Big Change award.

We hear from other inspiring women, including Jo Brand, self-proclaimed ‘comic, writer, mother and super-model’; Amrit Kaur Lohia, musician and Theirworld Global Youth Ambassador; Sophie Walker, chief executive of the Young Women’s Trust; Yvette Cooper MP, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee; Leena Nair, Chief HR Officer at Unilever; Rosemary Leith Berners-Lee, co-founder of the Web Foundation; Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, mathematician and co-founder of the Stemettes, and not forgetting, of course, Theirworld’s very own Jamira Burley, who hosted the event.

Feb 25, 2020

This is a special edition of the Better Angels podcast where we talk to iconic changemakers around the world.

This episode has been recorded for the People’s Postcode Lottery – for everyone who plays it and everyone who works there supporting both the players and the charities – at Theirworld we want to say thank you and share some of our stories from our Better Angels interviews so you can hear about the impact that your support makes.

Here you will hear from global leaders from the United Nations, European Commission, Africa, and Lebanon, from the Theirworld leadership team, our ambassador Nick Sharratt and if you listen to the end how well known actors like David Morrissey, Sir Patrick Stewart and David Tennant add their voices to our campaigns and causes they care about.

Theirworld’s vision is to end the global education crisis and unleash the potential of the next generation.

Five years ago, while nearly half of the world’s out-of-school children were caught up in conflict, its aftermath and natural disasters around the world, big change was needed. This meant addressing large-scale structural change as well as determining what works on the ground - from school transport and nutritious meals to trauma counselling and effective teaching for refugee children. The players of the People’s Postcode Lottery have enabled Theirworld to tackle new areas of involvement, push our campaign worldwide and get right up close to the decision-makers who can unlock that big change and create a brighter future for millions of children.

We believe that the trust that the players, and the team at People’s Postcode Lottery, have placed in Theirworld has made a difference to our goals. And we would like to share with you some of the perspectives on how we go about addressing the global education crisis

Contributors (in order of appearance)

Sarah Brown
Chair, Theirworld

Graça Machel
Global advocate for women’s and children’s rights

Wanja Maina
Global Youth Ambassador for Theirworld.

Jamira Burley
Youth engagement advisor, Theirworld

Amina Mohammed
Deputy Secretary-General, the United Nations

Annemiek Hoogenboom
Country Director, People’s Postcode Lotteries

Christos Stylianides
Former European Commissioner for Humanitarian and Aid Crisis Management

Melissa Fleming
Head of Communications, the United Nations

Elias Bou Saab
Former Lebanese Minister for Education and Higher Education

Justin van Fleet
President, Theirworld

Nick Sharratt
Children’s illustrator and author

Yasmine Sherif
Director, Education Cannot Wait

David Morrissey
Actor and UNHCR ambassador

David Tennant

Sir Patrick Stewart

Shazia Ramzan
Global Youth Ambassador for Theirworld

Kainat Riaz
Global Youth Ambassador for Theirworld

Better Angels is presented by Sarah Brown. The producer is Ben Hewitt, and it is edited by Warren Borg of Worgie productions. February 2020.