the voice of tomorrow”. Indeed, this has been a common phrase used in
today’s world of globalization. As the truth holds, the children today are the
future leaders of the globe and thus, it is of great importance that all
essential needs are met: education, health, dietary needs, a healthy environment
and the right upbringing filled with love.
In conjunction with this year’s World Children’s Day Celebration, the Ministry of Unity and Social Development organized a children’s forum with the theme, “Listen to our voice: Appreciate and Protect our rights” on October 2-5, 2003. This time around, it was a 3-day forum involving approximately 300 participants from Selangor and Kuala Lumpur at the Corus Hotel. Six YA’s got the opportunity to participate in the event, with hope of contributing their opinions towards bringing the forum to a success.
discussion regarding three main issues began on the second day (4th
of October), after a series of debriefing sessions the night before. With young
moderators and facilitators from various schools in the district, pupils’ discipline
in school, social integration and the convention on the rights of a child were
the subject matters brought forth.
we were bombarded with information and statistics, which opened all our eyes.
Though the presentations were commendable, the real lesson only began when
fellow participants were divided into groups to discuss what was advocated and
come up with mind maps based on our own interpretations. It was shocking to
discover that discrimination of skin color was still happening within the lurks
of Kuala Lumpur. Even the younger ones had a say about the situations different
parts of the community were faced with from day to day.
few among us were selected to perform for the closing ceremony as based on the
three themes given. Within a mere half an hour, a powerful drama on social
integration was produced, awaiting to stun the audience with well-versed
messages. A team of frustrated yet resolute individuals, our team was determined
to show the audience the real vicissitudes of life today- how schools practiced
unfairness towards students which were socially different for example. Indeed,
the crowd was astonished that night. We were glad that we played a part in
spreading the awareness and taking a firm stand.
final activity was the making of a scrapbook about what we wanted from the
world, and for those who took it earnestly, it was a self-realization process:
where we stand in the globe, our visions and our hopes.
An overall success, we obtained wonderful experiences and gained much awareness. Discipline, CRC and social integration should be given serious attention by everyone, YA’s foremost. Discrimination and racism has to end for us to achieve our dreams.
“ Tolerating isn’t enough, let’s start understanding”.