On Wednesday, November 30th my boys, Linus and Stewie, were not allowed to speak above a whisper at school. I was hoping that would apply for home too, but it did not. Wednesday, you see, was the launch of Free the Children’s The Vow of Silence initiative. My son’s school was an active participant in this Vow.
This Vow asks that all students in school, even if only for a short time, be silent to show solidarity with children around the world who are denied basic human rights, who do not “have a voice.” Teachers were asked to modify their lessons to follow the philosophy of the Vow, and at least in my son’s school, there was an assembly at the end of the day in which the participants were allowed to break their silence and use their voices to affect change.
We have always mad e a point to educate our children on the fact that not every person is free to speak, pray, and marry whomever they want and we won’t stand by while children are subjected to exploitation, poverty and the denial of their basic rights. I expect that there are at the bare minimum, millions of children who are silenced by these abuses.
This organization is educating children and parents so that we can all take a stand for children everywhere.
A little more about the Vow of Silence… This is part of the annual fundraising of an organization called “Free The Children”.
The goal this year is to raise-awareness from Toronto to Mexico City, London to San Francisco, Beijing to Jakarta, Vancouver to Sydney and back whereby young people will go silent for 24 hours in solidarity with children who are being silenced by poverty and exploitation.
How silent is silent, you ask??? For Vow participants, being silent can mean refraining from speaking. It can also mean not using email, Facebook, Twitter or text messaging. It can even mean not using hand gestures, note writing or any communication at all. Participants determine your level of silence based on their comfort.
So my boys took the Vow. They took action, to raise awareness for Free The Children, but going silent during their school day.
As parents, we were asked to take a moment or two to reflect on the day’s activities with our children, which we did.
For further information, or to donate, you can simply follow the link here;