Malala Yousafzai

Free and Equal: Working towards Equal Human Rights for All

By: Danny
Danny is a participant in Allowance for Good's Fall 2015 Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy class in the Elmhurst location. 

"I am a Catalyst for Good because...
I want everyone to have a chance to follow their dreams"
Danny pictured at the ELP Elmhurst class.
During our discussion about human rights and the sustainable development goals, I was introduced to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was written by the United Nations. I realized that many countries do not have the same rights as we are so fortunate to have in the United States, despite the fact that everyone is entitled to the rights. I feel these human rights are important because everyone should have the opportunity to be independent, to make decisions for themselves, and yet in numerous regions across the world, only a few or a small group of these rights are followed, which calls for a need for change. I feel that the most important right is the first right, which is: We Are All Born Free & Equal. It explains the reasoning, stating, “We are all born free. We all have our own thoughts and ideas. We should all be treated in the same way.” I feel that treating people equally has been the one of the most prevalent issues over time, which ties into the second right, which states: Don’t Discriminate. Throughout history, many issues have been caused by people not being treated equally. While many bad things have emerged from discrimination, such as the Holocaust and slavery, there are a few good things that have come from this. The good things stream from activists who have stood up to ensure equality, which is actually the root of our country, as the colonists stood up to England after unequal treatment.

While Malala is passionate about the right of education for women, I am passionate about no unfair detainment. People have the right to move as they wish, and yet many countries do not allow their citizens to leave the country. Many people, for example in North Korea, are placed in labor camps for suspicion of being a rebel despite the fact that they have no direct evidence. This ties to the right to fair trial. I could raise awareness about this issue by exposing that North Korea and other countries have labor camps, because many people are unaware of this issue. The issue with North Korea is that they do not let anyone in or out of the country. Through a Global Awareness Project, I could send materials such as clothes, shoes, and food to Syrian refugees, which is another example of people who have nowhere to go. The Syrian refugees are living in very poor conditions, and they need help.

Making an Impact for Human Rights

By: Anika
Anika is a participant in Allowance for Good's Spring Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy: Explorers class. 

This week in ELP, we talked about human rights. We learned about the different plans and steps for fixing the problems that come with the lack of human rights. There is a declaration issued by the United Nations about human rights. We tend to take many of these basic rights for granted.

 In this class, I learned a lot about human rights and I was able to appreciate how fortunate I am. Less developed countries do not provide adequate protection of human rights, which is a problem that needs to be fixed. Some people don’t have freedom of thought, or the right to privacy. I cannot imagine not having the right to privacy and freedom of thought and speech.

 One of these rights was the right to education. Malala’s speech about the right to education was very inspiring for many reasons.  She is a young girl living in a Taliban dominated and controlled country. She is a girl and a child and the Taliban believed that the children of Pakistan, especially girls and women, had no right to education.  She still stood out, regardless of everything against her and spoke out for both girls and boys. Taliban continued to threaten her but she could not be stopped because she believed in the right to education for everyone. She was shot in the head by the Taliban but that made her even more determined to fight for access and equality of education.

 Another right is the right to food and shelter. There are so many people who don’t have 3 meals a day. Hunger and shelter is a problem all over the world, including the most developed countries. Even a country as developed as the United States has over 5,000 homeless and hungry people in just a 50 mile radius. All of my life I have grown up listening to how my classmates and I were so lucky to have food on our plates and a roof over my head.

 I have heard statistics that 1 out of 5 children go hungry. We have not discussed ways in which we could solve this problem. I would like to try and make a dent in the issue of homelessness and hunger.

One of the ways to doing that is to build awareness of this problem at a younger age. It could be as simple as teaching kids to not waste food and water, volunteering at a food bank, richer class discussions etc.

Integrating Philanthropic Lessons Into Everyday Life

By: Bella
Bella is a participant in Allowance for Good's Winter 2015 Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy: Explorers class.

This week in the ELP class we reflected on our seven weeks worth of work and discussions plus activities and fun. This experience was only seven weeks long and even though it was short I absorbed the wonderful and inspiring lessons each week.

My favorite parts of ELP was talking about global human rights and access to basic needs, such as clean water, education, shelter and food. I found this interesting, because I had know idea about the millennium goals that were suppose to be completed by 2015, but they were not fulfilled. While talking about this topic we also discussed the 5 point Plan, which was put in place of the millennium goals.

I will continue being a philanthropist and young catalyst, by thinking of others and making my goal for each day to help some in need, whether it be picking up a notebook for someone or buying a lunch for someone. To continue my work as a philanthropist I will advocate and give back to throughs who are fighting for equal rights, such as Malala, who advocates for equal education rights for women. I also feel obligated to be doing any philanthropic activity I can participate in, to fulfil my passion of being a philanthropist.

I want to learn more about how to give and what it means to give in a philanthropic way. I am very intrested in different and empowering ways to be involved in philanthropic events or activities. I also want to learn more about the five point plan and why they made them much more broader. Throughout this ELP class I have learned more about philanthropy and how to be a leader. These skills and ideas I will now take and apply them to my everyday life.

Bella writes, "I am a Catalyst for Good because I think that everyone should have access to clean and safe water."

Spreading Awareness for Education, Animal Rights

By: Rashmi
Rashmi is a participant in Allowance for Good's Winter 2015 Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy: Explorers class. 

I recently watched a video of 17 year old Malala Yousafzai at the UN Youth Assembly. Her steady voice delivered words of wisdom and advice, trying to inspire the youth in front of her. I found her speech interesting and inspiring in several different ways. She made a point to not offend anyone, and spoke about how obstacles should not stop people from doing what is right. I thought it was brave of her to stand in front of so many people and talk about such a controversial topic. All of the statements she made were positive, or ended on a positive note. She had something nice to say about everyone and everything. She spoke of the positive impact people could have on the world by using kindness instead of violence, and how no one should be denied their right to education. She was very passionate about it, and talked about how opposition from others did not stop her from going to school. 

The amount of time she talked about spending advocating the right to education and the dangers she had faced opened my eyes to how many problems there are in the world and how much work it will take to fix them. I am very passionate about animals, and spend time volunteering at shelters over the weekend. Some people believe that animals are not important, and that they don’t matter. However, I think that they are just as important as people, and believe that it is important to protest animal cruelty. 

One way I can raise awareness about this issue is by talking to friends and my community and letting them know that there are problems that need to be solved and more than one person is needed to do it. I can also raise money to help larger organizations who are already combatting this problem. This is related to our Global Awareness project because we are trying to open people’s eyes to the things that happen around us that could be improved if everyone donated their time and efforts to the cause. I can use the project to help others understand what needs to be fixed.

Rashmi, front left, with some of her ELP classmates.