At UNICEF we celebrate the amazing impact children and young people make every day, but as Wednesday August 12 is International Youth Day, our Young Ambassadors have handpicked the work of a few #childrights champions to share.
Changing the world is no mean feat, yet these amazing young people are living proof that anyone and everyone can make a huge difference. All of them started with a simple idea and have gone on to change the world.
These young people illustrate how getting out there and doing some good is all that really matters.
World peace one soccer ball at a time
Mac Millar, 11, lives, breathes and probably eats soccer. Mac believes soccer can bring people together. For him it’s more than just a game, he believes it can build peace. Mac built a website to share his vision for soccer; raised funds and had thousands of soccer balls delivered to children in war-torn countries and detention centres.
#EVERYchild has the right to play (Article 31, Convention on the Rights of the Child)
For more about the Mac Millar’s Play it Forward campaign, CLICK HERE
Mental health, dreams and superpowers
Nicole Gibson, 22, has lived through some tough times and knows the importance of looking after your mental health. She has battled anorexia nervosa and wants other teenagers to be able to look into the mirror and smile. Nicole is the Chief Executive Officer of the Rogue and Rouge Foundation that talks to teenagers about mental health and body image and the youngest National Mental Health Commissioner – ever.
#EVERYchild has the right to be shown, share and shape ideas and information, as long as it causes no harm. (Article 13, Convention on the Rights of the Child)
For more about the Rogue and Rouge Foundation, CLICK HERE
Young people paving the reconciliation road
Lockie Cooke, 17, founded Indigenous Communities Education Awareness (ICEA) to inspire Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people to learn about and have respect for Australia’s Indigenous culture and people. Lockie was Australia’s head delegate at the Y20 and even went to a Google+ hangout with Royalty. He’s a YouTube legend and his videos about youth led reconciliation have racked up more than 10 million views. In his spare time he is training for a spot in the 2016 Olympics. Seriously, is there nothing this man can’t do?
#EVERYchild has the right to speak their own language and practice their own culture (Article 30, Convention on the Rights of the Child)
For more about the Indigenous Communities Education Awareness, CLICK HERE
Wear Purple with Pride
Katherine Hudson, 22, is the founder of the Wear It Purple campaign helping LGBTQIA young people feel safe, empowered and supported. Everyone loves purple, and Wear It Purple day is a great way to show support and solidarity for the LGBTQIA community. Katherine and the awesome Wear It Purple Youth Action Council have made fabulous short films, mentored, organised and gone along to events to make young people feel unashamed to be who they are.
#EVERYchild has the right to give an opinion and expect it to be heard. (Article 12, Convention on the Rights of the Child)
For more about Wear It Purple, CLICK HERE
‘It’s okay to be deaf’
As a fifth generation deaf woman, Drisana Levitzke-Gray, 21, is proud of her deafness and dedicates her time to advocate for the human rights of the deaf community. In 2014, she became the first deaf person to attend jury duty and was, drumroll please, the 2015 Young Australian of the Year. Her cool, barrier-smashing attitude has helped break down barriers between the deaf and hearing communities. Drisana hopes that one day all Australians will love Auslan, and hopefully want to learn it too.
Want to learn a little Auslan, CLICK HERE
Join the conversation
Our #childrights champions are deeply engaged in society. Civic engagement sounds like a massive bore, but as you can see, it’s actually awesome. It’s about finding something you care about and taking action. So whether it’s as simple as sorting out your wardrobe and giving stuff you don't need to an op shop, or as big as working on ending global poverty, it’s all important and all counts.
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