Young Faces Behind Human Rights

March 16th, 2015 by Pearson

There are plenty of prominent politicians and activists out there making headlines in the media. People such as Ban Ki-Moon, the Dalai Lama, and Chen Guangcheng are among the popular line up of role models you’ve probably heard about.

As commendable as these older voices’ achievements are, many forget the efforts of the youth who are involved in the fight for human rights. Here are a few notable individuals who’ve made a pledge to improve the lives of others.


Malala Yousafzai

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This young lady from Pakistan advocates for education for children, focusing on young girls and women. She comes from a part of the world plagued by violence and gender inequality. At the age of 11, she caught the BBC’s attention with her blog, detailing her life under Taliban law in the country.

Her actions have not been without consequence. Shortly after the broadcast of a documentary about her living in the troubled country, the activist was shot several times while traveling to school. As a result, her story has touched many across the world who have come together to show their support for female scholars.


Valens Ntamushobora

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The 26 year old Rwandan started a program called, Let Us Stay Alive. It teaches young mothers how to be self-sufficient. The curriculum provides access to land, seeds, training and other resources to those seeking to feed their children and make money through subsistence farming.

Many women in this African nation don’t have a voice, especially when it comes to decisions that concern attending school and finding employment. This leaves them vulnerable to poverty and violence. The organisation boasts 300 members who’ve directly benefited from the scheme by rebuilding their lives.

Valens is a graduate of the Sprout e-Course that gives young leaders training on various skills. Additionally, he is also a recipient of the 2010 Pearson Award and has gained international recognition for his efforts.


Dylan Mahilingam

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This teen started using the Internet to further the UN Millennium Development Goals when he was only nine. He has reached 3 million members of the youth in over 30 countries to raise funds for natural disasters relief.

He has built a playground for AIDS orphans in Uganda, a mobile hospital in India and student accommodation in Tibet. The organisation he co-founded in 2004 called Lil MDG’s has in excess of 24,000 young volunteers, providing support from across the world. Its main objective is to assist in improving the health, education and living conditions of others. He has also gone on to represent his age group at the United Nations.

As you can see, there’s evidently no age restriction when it comes to getting involved in activism. The only requirement is passion and persistence in the face of trials. These young people are extraordinary because they started off with very little. They used what they had at their disposal to change the lives of many within their communities and around the globe.

So maybe you should get involved too. Who knows? You could be the next face behind a campaign for human rights.