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Kelowna teens 'write for rights'

Kelowna Secondary School student Pauline Schrott is taking on the Okanagan’s first ‘Write for Rights’ campaign at her higschool this week.

“Write for Rights is a global campaign of not only supporting people in their fight for human rights and demanding justice for them, but also an awareness campaign about injustices and political situations around the world,” explains Schrott, a Grade 12 student at KSS.

Schrott is hoping that students and members of our community will take a moment to write a letter, a card, or sign a petition online or at the school for human rights.

“This whole campaign is really effective, in one third of the cases of unlawfully imprisoned people where letters were written, the prisoners were freed!” shares Schrott.

Her inspiration to take on injustices in our world comes from the struggle her own parents had growing up in East Germany.

“My parents grew up in the GDR (German Democratic Republic or East Germany), where many people who raised their voice for human rights became prisoners of conscience. I feel privileged to be living in Canada where we can protest, raise awareness, debate issues, and write letters.”

The opening event will be at KSS on Tuesday Dec. 10 for Human Rights Day, but it will continue through until Thursday Dec 12.

Schrott says there will be one booth in the foyer of the school and one in the library where all materials and information needed to write a letter or postcard for the protection of human rights will be available.

There will be three cases to choose from at KSS, which means three situations you can choose to write letters about. All three involve human rights violations which have been confirmed through extensive research by Amnesty International.

“This event is important to me because using words to make a stand seems like the most peaceful option to me and has proven to be effective,” says Schrott.

“My goal with this event is to empower not only students but the community around Kelowna Secondary School by writing letters that might free leaders that have taken a stand for human rights and help communities that have suffered from human rights injustices.”

Anyone who writes a letter can also if they want, provide their e-mail or personal information so that Amnesty International can get back to them about the case they chose to support if there is new information (i.e. iff the detainee got freed).

For more information on the event go to Amnesty International’s website.

There is also a Facebook group called KSS Write for Rights.

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