On 29th of July 2014 a group of Africa Unite’s Peer educators facilitated an Information session about Human rights at the Masibambene Secondary School in Kraaifontein. The workshop was held for 23 learners from grade 9, 10 and 11.
After our peer educators and interns introduced Africa Unite to the learners they went on to ask them: “What do you know about human rights?” The responses of the learners reached from human rights being rules, which every human being has to follow and apply towards their community, up to respecting other human beings and living together in peace.
So following this brainstorming the learners started to ask each other questions about human rights, which were connected to a Quiz. It was interesting to observe, that although they were hesitating in giving answers in the brainstorming beforehand, they actually knew a lot about human rights. When they started solving the quiz the learners became really enthusiastic and presented all different kind of answers in connection to human rights.
Education, living in peace, shelter, respect and having enough food, were mainly mentioned by the learners, when it came to the questions ‘What would you say are the two most important rights that human beings have?’ and ‘Name a right all children should have’.
Besides this exercise the peer educators introduced a debate about becoming part of a paradise-country. They became really passionate during the discussion and realised in the end that they ‘failed’ in applying the basic principles of human rights ‘respect’ and ‘dignity’. After this exercise most of the learners mentioned that they were now aware of how they could make human rights realty in their everyday lives. Interestingly one of the students also raised a critical lesson that she had learnt, she mentioned how human beings easily abuse the power that they are given and it goes down to the youth to make a change in this world.
Summing it up you can say that the learner’s awareness about human rights got encouraged and their understanding about social cohesion improved through the process of this information sessions. The speech, held by one of the learners at the end of the session supports this fact. The learners were thanking Africa Unite staff for the valuable information and time and feel encouraged to participate in more human rights workshops.