Children have always fascinated me. It could be because of their infectious jovialness, their naivety, or just how they always spur within me the need to protect them. A child’s love is one so pure. Being around them gives me a feeling of cleansing. Some of my best days have been spent playing, feeding, and telling stories to children. I am constantly marveling at how big their dreams are, answering their questions, enjoying how curious their minds are, and worrying about them growing up too fast. The very essence of a child’s innocence demands that we protect them.
Imagine a world where war is unheard of. A world where no one sleeps hungry, poverty is a far-fetched idea, education is available for every child, and solidarity is the tune on everyone’s lips. This kind of world may seem so unrealistic, but in a child’s mind, the possibilities are endless. I greatly admire this quality in them. As we age, sometimes we so easily accept how things are; failure, disappointment. A child will fall down several times as he learns to walk, and not until he develops this skill, will he stop trying.
My parents have always instilled in me the value of self-worth. Growing up, they have constantly cheered me on, in all my endeavors, and have taught me that I can achieve all things that I set out to. By understanding my worth, I learned to appreciate that of those around me. My mother always said to me ‘do unto others as you would like them to do unto you’. Strong words, which have followed me around since the first time she said them. If we realized the value of human dignity, so many of the world’s problems would be solved. The divisions we form amongst ourselves based on our race, ethnic backgrounds, gender, or economic status would all be obsolete.
To be part of an organization that is constantly campaigning for and seeking to teach the world about the value of human dignity, as is seen in the WYA charter, is an opportunity that still has me in complete amazement. The World Youth alliance has given me a platform to fulfill my dreams of making the world a better place. As interns, we are given the chance to be a drop of change in this ocean that is the world and hope that the rippling effect of our actions is even more profound. World Youth Alliance recognizes the need for children to understand the importance of knowing their self-worth as well. The Human Dignity Curriculum is evidence to this fact, and it is being used as a teaching tool for children.
During the internship, we are constantly involved in discussions on the nature of human dignity, and its relation to human rights amongst other aspects of our lives. These talks have massively impacted me now even as an adult. It’s amazing that children are included in the World Youth Alliance agenda, because they grow up knowing that they are worthy of respect and honor, and because of this fact, so is their neighbor. Imagine a world governed by such individuals once they become of age.
Written by Cynthia Wangari, a current regional intern at the WYA Africa office.