Youth Can Change the World
by Sheila, Fort Richmond Collegiate, Winnipeg MB

In the past few weeks you may have seen or heard announcements voicing for Amnesty International (AI). Introduced to FRC last year as another club, AI gives students a chance to recognize human rights on a world wide level.

AI is a non-governmental organization active in over 160 countries with over one million members. Born in 1960, AI works towards releasing all prisoners of conscience (beliefs, religion, ethnic origin, status gender, etc.), fair and prompt trials for all political prisoners, and the prevention of torture, executions and 'disappearances'. As long as prisoners have not advocated violence AI defends their rights according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

Picture a mother with her head against a cement block, her baby daughter limp under her. Both are dead due to the massacres in Halabjah, Iraq. Imagine the eight million children living on the streets in Brazil. How about being imprisoned for writing poetry? Or having electric shocks pushed through your tongue and genitals . . . . . not a pretty picture is it?

Within FRC's Amnesty International club we receive updated news on human rights violations. We are given the addresses of the high officials and write to them (politely) demanding human rights for all people. Further along in the year the club will move to projects in addition to letter writing. There will be an awareness concert held in the next month, so keep your eyes and ears open.

With millions of letters written, we do make a difference. Prisoner Lilian Ceilberti writes to AI, "You have been present during all these years with a constancy and dedication which has accompanied me in the worst moments giving me strength and joy."

For more info about Amnesty International and how you can start a club in your school, check out their website:

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