“The children are our future.” A’ntonia said, her eyes staring off, distant. “If we don’t start educating and preparing our children, whether they’re black, white, or yellow, we would only be ruining our future.” In many places, like Israel and North Korea, children are stripped of their rights. These include the right to play and the freedom of expression. One of those deprived children might be the one with the solutions to our problems.
Wrists for Rights is a non-profit student-led organization that focuses on raising awareness about the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as agreed upon by the United Nations. It was started by Rob Whetton, a human rights activist and entrepreneur who spoke to us in Sydney last year. He mentioned his organization, I´m Colourblind, which works on creating equal rights for people of all colors. The students, so motivated by his workshop, decided to take participation to the next step. Out of our hope and ambition Wrists for Rights emerged. Each student is involved at every level of production, including tasks such as marketing and graphic design. We have made bracelets, one for the 10 rights we agreed upon, plus an additional bracelet of our own creation. By selling these bracelets and holding meetings with each of our host schools to collaborate in the selling, we are raising money. This money goes to the aforementioned I´m Colourblind. In the future, we hope to expand our funding techniques to shirts, a website, charity events, and other schools.
Many students complain about school, saying that it can’t be applied to real life. “We used maths in sales calculations and financial plans and social studies for marketing.” Skills from maths, science, and english can be applied to an organization like this, in case we wanted to become entrepreneurs in the future. All that we learn can be used; it’s just a matter of going out of your way to find its application.
Many teens out there think that we can’t make a difference, and so leave the problems until we grow up and have to face them. We think we don’t have the resources, whether its education or experience. But if you look around; it’s the perfect conditions for teenagers to rise up. We have the internet to become aware of the world’s problems and reach out to the countless people around the world. Teens have more potential to create change now more than ever with globalization, but many of us don’t choose to because we tend to think about other things like homework. If we put on that extra effort to speak out now while managing our lives, we would have a smaller load in the future.
A part of our learning process was the mistakes and obstacles However, all our efforts were more than justified by the success of this organization. We’ve sold over 600 bracelets in the Oktoberfest festival in collaboration with our host school’s students. “We’re an organization who are the people, kids, that we’re trying to help, and in that way, we’re different from the other thousand sofa organizations out there. Some of us come from countries with no human rights; we know what its like. It’s time to rise up and make a change,” says A’ntonia.
If we don’t, who will?