Thursday, 13 October 2011

Realizations and Doubts

Today, I attended Me to We. And there, I found something I had lost. I found my empathy. For so long I felt apathetic to the world around me, because it didn't affect me, it didn't concern me. That's the way I felt. But today, I realized, that is not true. That little girl dying from starvation in East Africa, could be me. Therefore, I refuse to be apathetic.

During the course of the show I had an epiphany. This summer, I will be visiting relatives in Pakistan with my family. And, as Pakistan happens to be a third world country, with only a 70% literacy rate in urban areas and a 50% literacy rate in rural areas, why not try and make a change during my stay? I then realized that basic charity work would not do any help. Giving some money and food won't last forever. I am only going to be there for two months after all. And also, that charity will only help a very small amount of people.

What Pakistan really needs, is it's own people helping people. In Canada, almost every high school and the majority of elementary schools, have a club that adresses global issues. In Pakistan, no known school has a club, of any form, that adresses global issues. No school has a club, of any form, that adresses local issues. Issues that relate to health care, human rights and education.

So, my realization: when I go to Pakistan, I need to raise awareness. I need to make my cousins, their friends, and their classmates realize that they have the power to change their life for the better. That starting even one small club in their school, just one social justice club, can cause a gigantic difference. It will cause, as said by Craig Kielburger, a ripple effect.

The club will start doing events. They will raise awareness in the community. Students from other schools will hear of this and make their own club. More awareness will be raised. Questions will be asked, action will be taken, and eventually, some day, those children who started those clubs will rise up against Pakistan's corrupt government. They will fight for their rights. And they will not stand down. Because they know what they deserve. They know that they can cause change.

...but...even though I realized all this...I'm not sure this is possible. What can I do? How can I convince a bunch of children and teenagers I barely know about my cause, when I can't even get my own family to take me seriously? My mother thinks me ignorant, and my father...I honestly don't ever have any idea on what he thinks. What I do know, is that they do not support me. They do not take me serious enough to even tell me it's impossible. To them, I am only a child. And I am! I am a child! But so are all those kids in Pakistan. In the world.

...I am confused...

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