About 20 students at Fort St. James Senior Secondary (FSJSS) will take a 24-hour vow of silence on Friday, November 30. The annual campaign coincides with the 22nd anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Students have agreed not to speak, text or use Facebook. They will be able to write notes and use gestures to communicate.
Students hope to raise awareness as they stand in solidarity with young people around the world who do not have the same rights and privileges they have. Many young people around the world do not have the basic human rights of education, shelter, clean water, or freedom from exploitation.
The students have set a goal of raising $5,000 to go toward building a school in an area of the world where the greatest need is felt. Free the Children will determine where the funds will go.
“Why not share our wealth and make a stronger global community?” says Sally DeMerchant, a leading force behind the FSJSS Free the Children group.
“What we take for granted could save thousands of people and create a better world,” said DeMerchant.
“It’s great to see so many people wanting to get involved in this cause,” says Rachael Crook.
The FSJSS Free the Children group’s first campaign was Halloween for Hunger, when they collected canned goods for the local shelter. They will be participating in a variety of campaigns over the school year.
Free the Children was started by Craig Kielburger when he was a 12-year-old student in Ontario.
He read a story in the newspaper about a young child from Pakistan who had been shot for speaking out against the carpet industry’s use of child labour.
The purpose of the organization is to engage young people in helping young people through education.