"If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children."

~Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

There are only 17 more days till we leave for Liberia. It is hard to believe it is so close. I have finished compiling the manual for the peace workshop, and am getting other last minute materials together.

While compiling the manuals, I included lots of information from different organizations that work towards peace. Like I said before, I have been getting ideas and information from the Hague Appeal for Peace. I have also used a lot of documents from the United Nations. One important document that I have included is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

This convention was adopted by the UN in 2008. While I was in Liberia in 2008, I was able to participate in a march to the capital building in Monrovia to present a petition to have the convention ratified by the Liberian government. I was able to march alongside the students and staff at Hope for the Deaf School and show my support for all Liberians who have a disability. It was exciting to be a part of such a monumental demonstration, but there is still a long way to go. It currently is still not ratified by the Liberian government.

Even though it is not ratified, Liberians who have a disability now have an international document that states their rights, and such document provides them with the knowledge they need to advocate for themselves.

The Peace Education Project aims to provide the staff of Hope School the opportunity to learn about the Convention and their rights in their own language (Liberian Sign language), as well as with the skills to teach their students with developmentally appropriate games and activities about their rights and peace.

My hope is that this will allow their voice to be heard amongst the rebuilding of their country.