Girls inspired by Maiden Factor Foundation

This week we were delighted to be visited by Greg and Kaia from the Maiden Factor Foundation. In 1990 the first all-female crew attempting to sail around the world in the ‘Whitbread Round the World Race’ set sail in Maiden. Captained by Tracy Edwards, few people believed that they would make it, and they received no corporate sponsorship to help fund their journey. Despite this, they actually came second in the race, an unbroken record for any British team (male or female).

Greg and Kaia shared this inspirational story with Wycombe Abbey pupils and spoke movingly about Maiden’s new goal. The boat has recently been restored and is just about to set off on a two year world tour promoting the importance of girls’ education. As part of this project they are asking children in schools that they visit to write a message of hope for girls currently not able to go to school, and to add their hand print on to one of Maiden’s sails.

We were delighted to find out that one of the schools the Maiden will be visiting is GVHSS in Kerala, a girls’ school with whom pupils at Wycombe Abbey have a weekly virtual exchange. Wycombe girls therefore added their handprint to the sail, but left gaps for the girls in India to add their own handprint, side by side with their friends at Wycombe.

The evening was a wonderful reaffirming of all the values Wycombe Abbey holds dear, and can’t be better expressed than with the message of hope written by Melissa (UV Rubens):

To all the girls without an education, we’re coming. We’re coming to give you a pen, a thousand times mightier than any sword. We’re coming to remind you that you can change the world. We’re coming to give you an education. Until then, keep fighting, kicking and screaming for your rights. Ignore the people who laugh or tell you “no, no, no”; but shout and yell “yes, yes, yes” until your voice is heard and heeded. Yes, you are a girl, just like me. Yes, your voice is powerful. Yes, you are important, beautiful, fierce and brave. So hold on, and don’t ever forget, we’re coming.