“While I have never had to worry about where I am going to sleep and where I will get my next meal, I’ve grown up in communities filled with people below the poverty line. It has been a part of my life, and I’m especially passionate about helping children, so that their economic status does not affect their opportunities and experiences in life.”
- Tallulah – Christian American participant, 16 years old
Young people are the future, and it’s important for them to get involved in their world so that they can change the things they want to have changed before it’s too late.
My generation can help create peace because we have the ability to learn from the mistakes of the past and the ability to connect with each other, no matter gender, race, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, physical ability, etc.
I am most passionate about women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and the protection of children experiencing poverty and homelessness. As a girl who identifies as LGBTQ, I find the protection of my own freedoms, and the freedoms of others like me, particularly important. While I have never had to worry about where I am going to sleep and where I will get my next meal, I’ve grown up in communities filled with people below the poverty line. It has been a part of my life, and I’m especially passionate about helping children, so that their economic status does not affect their opportunities and experiences in life.
It is easy to believe that things aren’t changing, especially when so many terrible things end up in the media we consume regularly. The best way to get out of a cynical loop is to spend time with individual people and open yourself up to them so that you can see the goodness in some people. If all that goodness works together, our world can truly change.
My peacemaking hero is Malala Yousafzai, who spent most of her teenage-dom working for equality in her own area. She was lucky to grow up in a family where her education was just as valued as her brothers, and made the courageous choice to go to school in a hostile environment. She was even more courageous when she began to fight for the right of education for all girls. Even after an attempt on her life was made, she continued to work towards equality and peace.
This is especially inspiring.
As a young peacemaker who believes very strongly in education as an equalizer for all people, and a great first step on the way to a peaceful world, Malala’s efforts are a great example of how anyone can make a difference. Her grit and willpower are enviable, and her compassion is astounding. One can never know how they will step up for others when their own safety is being threatened, and Malala has made it clear that her fight for equality is more important than her comfort. She inspires me to face adversity head on, and never stop in the strive for peace.