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Last Updated: Tuesday July 05 2005 16:36 GMT

I made promises to Nelson Mandela

Shetal meets Scottish First Minister, Jack McConnell
Shetal meets Scottish First Minister, Jack McConnell
The G8 summit will see world leaders coming together to discuss world affairs, including how to help poor countries.

Shetal was chosen by her school to attend some high profile events and raise awareness amongst young people.

"My family and I have recently moved to America, but I've come back to the UK to represent my old school in London.

I was very involved in citizenship work at my school, which is why I was chosen by my head teacher to represent our school.

The first event I attended was the Make Poverty History event in Trafalgar Square in London.

My school friends and I did a presentation in front of 30,000 people to raise awareness of poverty in developing countries.


After our speech, I shook hands with Nelson Mandela and he gave me a Make Poverty History wrist band.

He made me promise that I would take the band to Edinburgh with me for the G8 conference.

He is such an amazing person and it was a great honour to meet him.

He made me realise that my generation need to take action against poverty and lack of education in the world - he was so inspiring.


Next we attended a rally in Scotland where we made another presentation - this time to 225,000 people!

We weren't nervous until we saw the size of the crowd!

It was an amazing atmosphere there and the audience were very nice.


Today, on the eve of the G8 summit, I joined children from all over the world to make an urgent plea to leaders to make poverty history.

We made yet another presentation, but this time it was to the Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell who has promised to take our message to the leaders of eight of the most powerful countries in the world.

We not only told him what young people want from G8, but we also told him what children in developing countries need.

In an ideal world, the leaders at G8 would make it possible for every child on this planet to have an education.

Above all, I want to see action, not words."

Shetal, 15, New Jersey

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