Look at this picture. What do you see?
We’re used to youth doing service work, so we may just quickly scroll through a picture like this. But what we’re not used to seeing is youth classified as “extreme poor” living in urban slums doing service work. We’re supposed to serve them, aren’t we?
This perception is at the root of our current awareness and fundraising campaign. Because of constant aid from outside NGO’s as well as empty promises from the government, slum dwellers have developed an attitude of social and civic apathy – an attitude of “we can’t do anything.”
But for the past 6 years, we have been building a new path together with local schools and local communities in the slums. Our work has not only resulted in a radical new curriculum that has introduced service-learning and civic education to these slum youth, but has brought down the walls of apathy and defeat in these slums. It has inspired a new generation of students and leaders who have turned the “I can’t do anything,” to “I can do something.”
So, look closer. The funds we are asking for are not going to build a water well, but it’ll give the students the tools to make one for themselves. The funds we are asking for are not going to eradicate drug abuse, but empower the students to do it themselves. The funds we are asking for are not going to provide trashcans in the community, but get the students to get up and do something to make waste management a priority in their communities.
Let’s remind the students that #youcandosomething and also remind ourselves that #youcandosomething.
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