There are many challenges we face today in the world. One of the recent obstacles to all, is the catastrophic coronavirus crisis which disturbed the daily occurrences of many of our lives. As a final year college student who has access to what strikes us as 'common things' such as internet and a laptop, the hindrances to my learning were not as dramatic. I am exceptionally grateful for everything that our teachers and key workers are doing. We are all travelling this path together with fresh knowledge and are learning as we go along. We are tremendously lucky to be able to mine our way through the pandemic with regular updates on the news and radio. It is a time where all people, of all ages, are being educated in some form or another. We are all learning about the virus and the new -found vaccines which open a new panel of hope for us all. Being able to educate the nation on how the vaccine works and how to continue to follow guidelines, is a privilege that many of us overlook. Having that understanding and such wide access to correct information and advice, is something many of us are yet to express gratitude for. As privileged as we are to be aware of this crisis, there is another pandemic that needs undivided attention.
Many of our brothers and sisters who remain isolated from such knowledge, are those who are struck by poverty. The shackles of the idea of a life seized by the anchors of poverty, prevent them from flourishing and exploring their capability in the world they are more than able to uplift.
In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26 mentions that 'everyone has the right to an education.' Millions of young people held in refugee camps in South Asia and Africa are still unfamiliar to the feeling of a pen and paper and this immensely limits their potential as the future of the generations to come. We have many problems within our own communities; However, it is a global crisis that only 2/3 of the world will be able to understand as we have left the other third of the world to simply find their way out. Half of that third of the population are children- in other words, our future. We continue to leave the future dim when it could be much brighter. These children, our youth, the future generations to come will not have the power to join the circle in creating a better, sustainable world. Unless we pay attention to this crisis, this circle will be left broken and polarisation will be prevalent yet again. We are striving to reach a world bustling with equality and opportunity.
Why are only 2/3 of the global population given the opportunity to strive for a better life when a 1/3 are left in the shadows?
How can we expect to move forward as one race if we ignore a massive proportion?
I follow the works of many charities such as 'UNHCR','RefugeeUN,' 'People's Foundation' and 'Muslim Aid' and have had the privilege of donating to some of these charities as well. To see the difference being made to the quality of lives of the people who are in extremely vulnerable conditions, warms my heart and it makes me feel extremely fortunate to be blessed with what I have. To see them finally be within a close mile range of a clean water pump and be supplied with food packages or receive some means of warmth during winter, a part of me elevates and smiles in triumph as the absence of such basic necessities become a massive obstacle in their quality of living which could have a detrimental effect on the education of the youth.
The last time I visited Bangladesh, my motherland, was in 2015. I distinctly recall visiting the local Girls' schools and mosques with my Grandfather. I have been doing so since I was very little. From a young age, I understood the importance of my education and the significant role my parents played by familiarising themselves with a completely opposite environment to how they were brought up, just so I would be able to receive a high standard of education. Me realising this at a young age, meant that every time my Grandfather took me on these walks to the local schools in the village, I was able to see a difference in the lives of these girls and boys. Now my humility peaks when I see the young girls, wearing clothes I donated the previous years or seeing them finally be able to study in the sweltering summer without the sound of a broken fan which was replaced with an AC from the money I saved up that entire year to give to them. Such things like an extra layer of clothes or access to ventilation, make a huge difference to the education of these young children. Next time my heart finds itself in Bangladesh again, I would like to donate many reading books, pens and other material that my fellow brothers and sisters can map out their dreams on and colouring pens to help brighten the world with their goals and aspirations.
It is a necessity for a better life and the only rope the population can hold onto, in order to climb out of poverty. We will be boosting them up and helping as much as we can.
By giving children the opportunity to learn, our future young men and women, have the power to collaboratively lift the world.
Thank you very much,
Sumayrah Chowdhury. (WORDS.OF.S)
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.