Malala Yousafzai stated it best in her CNN interview with Christiane Amanpour: “I do not understand how governments can find more money for guns and tanks than for children’s education. World leaders claim they care about children’s education and rights, but they are not living up to their promises.”
As a teacher for over fifteen years, and my continued tenure as a teacher in public schools for the last ten years, I cannot stand by and let statements about the lack of education for either females or child slaves fall on deaf ears.
It makes me wonder if all people who live above the poverty level took the money they spend on the latest gadgets (me: dresses, books), most luxurious cars, etc… and put that money toward coalitions to end child slavery, to fund schools, books, etc… to show that the world cares more about these issues and we, not the government, hold the power to affect change.
I can’t help but wonder about Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Malala Yousafzai (whom I am sure will soon be called Malala), some of my favourite activists, Sven Volkmuth & Jacynthe Omglin who run their own NGO, chance for growth and how much time is dedicated to making sacrifices for the better living conditions of others.
What if all of the above decided it was more important to buy luxury goods instead of helping save lives, protect the innocent and invest in a better future where education is no longer seen as a luxury, but a necessity to all human life?
I want to be a part of that future, thus I am pledging this year (and hopefully forever) to spend not a dime on anything that:
- was made by child slaves, or in a country that abuses its workers or allows children to legally work in factories
- I do not desperately need (i.e. will cause starvation)
- I cannot make myself
- make an negative impact on our environment because I am promoting world pollution through buying something I could get second-hand or live without
- makes it less possible for me to get out of debt in the next four years
I bring up debt because a lot of people in industrialised countries have easy access to debt, something that I know I can live without and will give me the freedom to give more of my excess to helping people worldwide.
I hope to contribute by being able to teach during my summer recess and give my time to organisations which want to improve the quality or set-up schools for all children who are in need, especially in countries where girls are forbidden any education or an equal education.
I may be only making a drop in the bucket, but I am making a purposeful drop that millions of others can join in to make our world a better place.
Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu!