Before I launch into my series of posts battling sensitive topics based around the breach of human rights, I felt it was important to make sure everyone is on the same page.
In our youth, we are not taught what our rights are. And even in adolescence and adulthood, it is still not reiterated to us. Why the education system feels the need to teach us differentiation and integration but not what our simple rights are? I wish I knew.
Last year, I entered an Amnesty Youth competition for human rights. I will get more into the details of this shortly, but whilst I was at the ceremony I was given a book containing- in the simplest form- a list of our human rights: (See slideshow images below)
Our issue is not just that we do not know of these rights, but also that should we know of them, they are not something we act upon. The one which most strikes me is: ‘Everyone has a right to learn.’
Initially, you may not think that among all the awful things happening in the World, this is a large concern. However, imagine each individual having an education. This would mean everyone could be educated on their rights and how to combat conflicts with these, hypothetically resulting in a slowly improving World. It also means people could be educated in a way that will ensure they do not do wrong and cause further conflict. Plus, children can then see from an early age the undesirable qualities of criminals, terrorists and so forth.
It is fair to say that an education for all could be a gateway to meeting the needs of the many human rights. In this Amnesty competition I mentioned, I begun to express my concerns on this in the form of a spoken word poem. I would love to be able to show you a video of this, however my parents were on camera duty and ‘filmed’ the whole thing without clicking record… Instead, you can see some awful photos from the event:
(If we can put the unflattering down angle and lifeless hair aside then it is a proud moment)
Getting into the top 3 for this competition and having the opportunity to perform really was one of my proudest moments. Not just for the selfish triumph, but also because I felt like I was helping a cause that really mattered.
However this year, i’d love to be able to do more. Whilst focusing on a broad range of topics, I would like to hone in on global education and find a way to really make a difference.
Somewhere, right now, there is a child- thousands of children- preparing for their life as a rice farmer. They are staring at their blistered feet and feeling their aching limbs in wonder: What would it be like to go to school, just for a day?
I understand that when living a privileged life it is easy to turn a blind eye to these issues elsewhere. It is difficult to put yourself into shoes that don’t fit and become a tailor to these needs. But i urge you to try, for all the difference it could make.
‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the World.’ – Nelson Mandela
Next Post: Looking into education across the globe.