LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA
12 June 2007
YHRI World Tour 2007 returned home to Los Angeles on June 12th but the work has only just begun. With the new contacts made, new collaborations being formed and new memorandums of understanding being drawn up, our global expansion is at an all-time high!
The purpose of Youth for Human Rights International is to teach youth about human rights, specifically the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and inspire them to become valuable advocates for tolerance and peace.
The tour traveled through Indonesia, South Africa, Congo, Kenya, Morocco, Spain, Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, Puerto Rico and seven stops in the United States. Our travels included scores of meetings, media interviews and events to promote the importance of human rights education. The following summarizes some of the notable visits:
We met with senior officials of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other officials and leaders in the fields of human rights, education and youth work.
The Minister of Law and Human Rights headed a team of government officials that joined us on a tour of a juvenile prison where our human rights education program is being delivered.
We also presented our videos to children at a local orphanage.
On our final day, we held two seminars at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. Our activities were well covered by the press, including national television.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Our host was Mr. Yeka Futy, Director of ASSECA (Association Essonne au Coeur de l` Afrique). Meetings with senior government, military leaders and presentation of our videos at schools and an orphanage followed. At one gathering over 2,000 schoolchildren participated in the YHRI event.
Our activities in Kenya started with a conference hosted by the Africa Region of the Scouts. This conference was featured in the news section of the Scouts international website scout.org, which reported under the headline: Africa Scout Regional Office (ARO) endorses Human Rights initiative. In her welcoming speech, Regional Director Ms. Rubina Haroon reiterated the suffering witnessed in Africa as a continent. The top regional executive therefore advocated collaboration between the various organizations and movements so as to realize a world that upholds human rights.
We held a conference with leaders of a worldwide youth program at the United Nations Office Nairobi to discuss potential collaborative efforts. We gave our human rights presentation to children at a local orphanage.
In Morocco, we were hosted by Vice President of the Chamber of Counsellors of Parliament, Ahmed El Kadiri and Professor Abdellah Mechnoune. We met with provincial and national government leaders. We presented the YHRI program at schools, to an orphanage and to an organization that provides free heart surgery to children.
Our visit to London included meetings with the members of the Youth Team at the Secretariat of the Commonwealth of Nations and the headquarters of the Girl Scouts.
In Puerto Rico, we were well received by the First Lady of Puerto Rico and by the Secretary of the Department of Family. Our videos started a thirty-day run on Puerto Rican television. Our representative in Puerto Rico set up a collaboration and arranged for our videos to be shown in more than a hundred government office waiting rooms.
Our visit to the United Nations in New York included a meeting with the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict and the Angola Mission to the United Nations. We also met with representatives of NAACP.
During our visit to New York, Taron Lexton, the director of the thirty Youth for Human Rights public service announcements, was presented with the UN Society of Writers “Award of Excellence.” He is the youngest individual and first filmmaker honored with this award.
Other events included a youth summit in Berlin and Los Gatos and events in Milan, Madrid, Tampa, Buffalo and the San Francisco Bay Area (which included a presentation to a Persian human rights organization).
World Tour 2007 featured the first public viewing of the Spanish audio version of our human rights DVD and the announcement that our 150-page human rights handbook for teachers had been translated into Arabic.
YHRI, a non-profit corporation, relies on contributions, collaborations and partnerships from like minded individuals, groups and organizations to strengthen and expand our activities around the world. Thank you for your support. Together we are reaching children around the world.