“Empowerment Through Education” — Friends of Himalayan Children

Human Rights Awareness Campaign “WE CAN”.

Good afternoon everyone, my name is Christina Lee and I am a Year 11 Student currently studying for International Baccalaureate Diploma at Cairns High.

My passion is human rights; my ambition is to become an international human rights lawyer and my dream is to give every human the equal opportunity and right to endeavour their own dreams to the fullest. Earlier this year, I had the privilege and honour of being chosen as one of the 16 Australian representatives to be part of the 2015 UN Youth Australia Aotearoa Indigenous Rights Leadership Tour. The tour had two principal aims: to build awareness and understanding of the issues Indigenous peoples face at home and abroad; and to inspire young leaders and help them develop the essential skills to take action on these issues in their communities. I have been wholeheartedly inspired to become the change I want to see in this world. After my experience in New Zealand as an UN representative, I was inspired to bring what I have experienced and seen into our community. In order to allow more students to share their passion and discuss international issues in a safe environment, I proposed the idea of a Human Rights Awareness Campaign titled “WE CAN” to my principal at the School Council meeting in August. After a long process of discussion, the campain has been agreed on by the school council to be implemented and acted upon in Cairns high. The core purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness for global human right issues and taking local action on a global scale.christina

I am here today to talk to you guys  (FHC) about the very first human rights awareness campaign at Cairns State High School!  The human rights awareness campaign is titled “WE CAN” Why? Because I strongly believe that together we can be the change that we want to see.

You might be wondering why I am talking about this project with FHC. The main reason I am here today is to let you know that this campaign’s core value is THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY. So our project will be working very closely with Friends of Himalayan Children. Hopefully for many years to come. I am forever grateful for all the work and dedication you guys put in, and all I want is to give back to the organisation that has inspired me in so many ways since the start of my high school journey.

What will WE CAN bring to this community?

1. It will open young eyes to the world. I have noticed that so many of my friends complain daily on how much homework they have. I know that I do sometimes. But what I realised is that; we have homework because we have a school to go to. We have bills to pay because we have a house to live in. Youth of today are so buried in their own issues, their own miniscule problems. When you realise that there are kids out their risking their lives every day just to hold a pencil and sit at a desk, you start to think differently. Cairns high will be voicing our support for the empowerment of youth, which is vital to instigate a prosperous future for our society.

2. The opportunity to lead in the local community to make a difference.

3. To show that young people have the power to create change.

Purpose of the campaign:

1. Raise awareness of human right issues across the community. As someone who is always looking for opportunities to simply talk about these issues, I believe that having a student led team will create numerous opportunities for people who are interested in these issues. It provides a safe place within the school community to discuss openly about international issues- in learning about human rights, we learn about ideas of respect, fairness, justice and equality. We also learn about standing up for our own rights and about our responsibility to respect the rights of others.

2. To fundraise for different kind of global human right issues at a local scale. I have thought about which organisation our campaign can work with. And because of my admiration of Friends of Himalayan children, I have chosen this wonderful organisation! Our WE CAN project will work very closely with Friends of Himalayan Children. So basically the idea is that Friends of Himalayan Children is based in Cairns, however the funds are raised for the education and child slavery in Nepal, where our school can greatly contribute to economically, while raising awareness of these issues here in Cairns.

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What will the campaign do? I believe all human right issues need to be brought to the table, as it consists of so many different areas. So the campaign will focus on a particular issue such as poverty or human trafficking per semester.

From term 1 next year, we will hold regular meetings at lunch times and make our school a voice for human rights.

On a particular week next year, there will be the very first event run solely based on raising awareness for human rights. Where guest speakers such as Som, PowerPoints, posters, games and a barbecue will be held. All for raising awareness of these issues. I believe it is okay not to be aware of these issues, as that is what WE CAN is for. However, it is not okay when people act ignorant towards them.

Finally, whenever someone asks me, ‘why are you so passionate about human rights?’ I always respond with these few sentences. Somewhere in the world, there is a girl or a boy my age. That girl or a boy has some dream, a dream so minuscule like holding a pencil, but that some dream won’t come true unless someday in their lives somebody walks in and decides to change their lives. I truly believe that each and every one of you here is that somebody and I too want to be that somebody.

All I can say is this is the start of an exciting journey and I hope that our WE CAN campaign can contribute greatly to FHC.

Thank you so much.

Check this short video of Christina speaking at our general meeting – https://www.facebook.com/f.hc.marketing/videos/10153304396301902/

(Wednesday, November 18, 2015)

About FHC

Friends of Himalayan Children Inc. is a registered charity started by Som Tamang in 2010. It funds numerous activities in Nepal, aimed at helping Nepalese orphans empower themselves through education. Current projects include the XXX school and hostel.

Charity Number: 54788547

Contact Us

  • r Phone:
    (123) 456 7890 / 456 7891
  • h Email:
  • m Address:
    Friends of Himalayan Children Inc.
    PO Box 4587, Cairns, Australia