Davenant International, the innovative student forum on global issues was set up in the summer of 2005. That summer the focus
was on poverty and the need of the international community to turn words into action and reach out to countries who were burdened
by international debt. Third World countries were appealing for a level playing field where markets in the West would open
up to goods and services.
In 2005 the biggest ever anti-poverty movement 'Make Poverty History' was launched in the United Kingdom and all over the
world. This key campaign struck a chord with students of Davenant Foundation School who were moved by statistics like 15,000
children around the world die each day from starvation. Davenant students decided to get up and do something about it.
Davenant students wore the simple white wristband, the symbol of the campaign and joined millions in supporting the three
main aims of Make Poverty History - Trade Justice, Drop the Debt and More and Better Aid.
The summer of 2005 also saw the United Kingdom taking over the Presidency of the G8 group of world leaders - United Kingdom,
United States of America, France, Germany, Russia, Canada, Italy and Japan.The G8 Summit was held at the Gleneagles Hotel
in Perthshire, Scotland from 6-8 July 2005. World leaders reached some agreement on developments in Africa and climate
change. They were determined not to be defeated by the tragic 7/7 bombings in London that summer and discussed other issues
such as peace in the Middle East, countering global terrorism and the proliferation of weapons.
Students at Davenant
discussed what was going on at the G8 Summit and contributed to briefing papers for their fellow students.
Some Davenant students also attended the Live 8 Concert in London organised by Bob Geldof, Bono and others to put pressure
on the G8 leaders to reach out to Africa to make poverty history. Bono, the pop star said: “Live 8 was, and remains
a brilliant moment but what is more important is the brilliant movement of which it was a part. This gives the poorest of
the poor real political muscle for the first time.
It is this movement of church people and trade unionists, soccer
moms and student activists, that will carry the spirit of Live 8 on. It is this movement, not rock stars, that will
make it untenable in the future to break promises to the most vulnerable people on this planet.That was always why we put
on the concerts,” said Bono.
Coinciding with the Live 8 Concerts was the massive march on Saturday 2nd July 2005 when 225,000 people took to
the streets of Edinburgh to call on world leaders to act at the G8 summit. Campaigners were dressed in white to form the world's
largest human white band and speakers from around the world addressed the crowd to speak of the difference the G8 could make
when they met later in the week at Gleneagles. They urged G8 leaders to help the poorest of the poor.
Davenant International was set up against the backdrop of these historic events in 2005. The students of Davenant Foundation
School were determined to make a difference. They were not content with mere words but wanted to act on some of the serious
issues of the day.
The setting up of Davenant International was so much in keeping with the Christian ideals of the founder of the school,
Reverend Ralph Davenant who was passionate about social justice.