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

Mar 8, 2021

In this episode, we hear some highlights from Theirworld's International Women's Day event and speak with some of the event's attendees about girls’ education and gender equality

Theirworld hosted its 7th annual International Women’s Day event on Thursday 4 March - but went virtual for the first time ever, due to Covid-19. 

Covid-19 has put the issue of girls’ education firmly in the spotlight. Now more than ever, it’s important that we come together to hear from those who are campaigning to break down the barriers facing girls and discuss how we can act to unlock big change in the coming year.

Hear from inspiring women, including Maysa Jalbout, Global Business Coalition for Education Advisory Member. Hiba Zakka al-Jamal, Head of SKILD ; Zarlasht Halaimzai, Director and Co-Founder of RTI. And Unlock Big Change Award winner - Theo Sowa, Former CEO of The African Women's Development Fund. As well as Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Barrister and Director of the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute. Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, Activist campaigner and founder Karma Nirvana. Tamara Box, Managing Partner, Europe and Middle East, and Senior Management Team, Reed Smith. Lorraine Candy, Journalist, Podcaster and parenting Author. Lorriann Robinson, Founder and Director, The Advocacy Team. Angela Saini, science journalist and author.


Mar 4, 2021

In this episode, Jamira Burley, Theirworld's Head of Youth Engagement & Skills, talks to two remarkable young women who are doing incredible work on the ground to open up education to the next generation of female leaders. 

Together we explore what the global recovery should look like, and why girls’ education needs to be front and centre. 

Educating girls creates not only greater equality for women but fairer, healthier and wealthier societies with benefits for everyone.

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.


Dec 20, 2019

Max Kenner, founder and executive director of the Bard Prison Initiative in the United States, discusses the impact of prison education with Sarah Brown. As he says, ‘nothing does more to create a sense of hope and purpose in otherwise desperate places than the opportunity to learn’. 

A leading advocate for his cause, Max’s programme enrols jailed men and women in academic courses that culminate in a degree from the prestigious Bard College in New York. 

He has a battle on his hands to make the case for prison learning in a country with the highest incarceration rate in the world, which sees 630,000 prisoners released annually, only for nearly 50 per cent to end up back in prison within five years.

Dec 20, 2019

In something of a first for Better Angels, Sarah talks to husband & wife advocates for change - Dan Snow, the popular TV presenter and historian, and Edwina Grosvenor, philanthropist and prison activist. They discuss their passion for speaking up for under-privileged people and how understanding the past informs their activism and awareness. 

Edwina’s charity strives for positive change in the justice system, while she is also a founding investor and Ambassador of the Clink Restaurant chain, which trains prisoners for work in the catering industry. She talks about how a visit to a prison drug rehabilitation unit at the age of 12 inspired a career supporting prison reform. 

Her work has taken her all over the UK and around the world, visiting different models of criminal justice and witnessing first hand examples of best – and worst - prison practice. 

Dan Snow discusses the need to appreciate the complexity of people’s pasts and personal stories when assessing how to pursue social justice and reform. Known as the History Guy, Dan is one of the most familiar faces on television in the UK. He now hosts his own digital history channel and podcast, History Hit, a seemingly endless source of programming about fascinating aspects of history. He began presenting for the BBC soon after leaving university, and went on to front countless series and programmes on key moments in British and global history.

Nov 12, 2019

Young activists share their ideas on campaigning to end the global education crisis. Sarah speaks to four of Theirworld’s Global Youth Ambassadors, inspiring young campaigners.

They share their passion for helping children around the world gain access to education and talk about the important role education has to play in providing life skills that will serve them long into the future.

Wanja Maina is an inclusive education campaigner from Kenya whose mother carried her several miles each day on her back to school because of her disability. She ended up with a Master’s degree and a commitment to see others get into school and learning no matter what barriers they may face. 

Javita Nauth is an American-Guyanese Global Youth Ambassador from Guyana who focuses on Early Childhood Education. One of her major projects is reconstructing  eco-friendly and earthquake resistant schools in rural parts of Nepal Badly affected by the 2015 earthquake.

Pavel Sarwar, originally  from Bangladesh, is now living and working in Malaysia. He is a tech entrepreneur and education campaigner who co-founded Youth Hub, a non-profit platform for young tech entrepreneurs that runs school coding and initiatives for girls and young women in ICT.

Jocelyne Jeannot has been a Theirworld Global Youth Ambassador since 2014. She works at the American-Pakistan Foundation as the Director for Community Engagement, and is also a published, award-winning photographer

Oct 31, 2019

Sarah talks to remarkable campaigner and inclusion expert Vibhu Sharma about how to bring more children and young people with disabilities into education.

Sharing the difficulties she went through at school, Vibhu speaks about making sure that others do not have the same experience.

They discuss what makes education truly inclusive, for children with or without a disability, or young refugees or children living in conflict situations

This interview was recorded in September 2019 during the United Nations General Assembly in New York

This episode of Better Angels was edited by Warren Borg, Worgie Productions.

Oct 17, 2019

June Sarpong MBE, writer and broadcaster, takes over as guest host, talking to Justin van Fleet, President of Theirworld and Executive Director of the Global Business Coalition for Education.

Justin describes how a trip to Bolivia as a teenager inspired him to work in education, and how education is providing hope and a degree of normality to thousands of young people trapped in desperate conditions in refugee camps on the Greek islands. 

They discuss Theirworld’s #WriteTheWrong campaign to provide an education to the 260 million children around the world who every day are denied a place in school.

This podcast interview was recorded in New York in September 2019 during the United Nations General Assembly.

This episode of Better Angels was edited by Warren Borg, Worgie Productions.

Oct 11, 2019

Sarah talks to activists at the heart of the Extinction Rebellion campaign, which seemed to burst out of nowhere in the spring of 2019 with its demand for action to end the world’s climate crisis and ecological emergency.

In the midst of new actions in London, Clare Farrell, Will Skeaping and Dr Deepa Shah discuss how the movement has made its mark, and how traditional campaigning methods were failing to influence governments. 

Clare Farrell is a fashion sustainability expert and co-founded Extinction Rebellion out of horror at the cost of fashion production to people and the planet.

Will Skeaping is a former advertising executive, and co-editor of The Extinction Rebellion Handbook: This is Not a Drill.

Dr Deepa Shah is a London GP and member of Doctors of Extinction Rebellion.

This podcast interview was recorded on 8th October 2019 at Soho Radio with thanks for the studio use.

This episode of Better Angels was edited by Warren Borg, Worgie Productions.

Sep 18, 2019

Comedian, Writer and Actor Rosie Jones joins Sarah for a conversation on what drew Rosie to comedy in the first place and the representation of people with disabilities on TV and in the media.

Inspired by the passion for her call for disability, inclusion and equal rights, Sarah jumped at the opportunity to speak to Rosie during the Edinburgh Fringe 2019, where Rosie’s sold-out one-woman show entitled ‘Backward’ provoked the question - “Am I backward, or are they?”  

Sarah and Rosie discuss the impact and legacy of the London 2012 Paralympics as a platform for not only athletes, but presenters with disabilities, and the need for more representation of disabilities on British TV outside of disability-focussed programmes. Rosie also highlights the need for more education around disability, and her aim is to get her story out to raise awareness of different disabilities. She is also very funny (Rosie that is, not Sarah!)

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