A REWARDING WEEK OF LEARNING ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS
From 7th – 11th September, all the novices from 1st and 2nd year participated in a formation about human rights for a week. This formation was delivered by by Mosaiko, an institute for citenzenship. Mosaiko is an institution that belongs to the Dominican friars that facilitates seminaries about Human Rights to diverse social groups as well as schools. Its objective is to raise awareness among citizens about their rights. The formation week had as motto: To fight for a better Angola. The general objective is to secure respect and human dignity and the development of Angolan society from the contribution of all and each of us.
The main objectives of this formation were:
- To go in depth in the knowledge of Human Rights focusing on Children’s Rights and the current situation of the country.
- To recognize the importance of educating about Human Rights and how to make it possible to happen in primary education.
Taking these objectives as a base, we want to share with all of you this rewarding formation experience.
Brief History of Human Rights
The history of Human Rights reveals that they were conceived through multiple and small fights and conquests that cover many realities, including religious, literary, politics and human history until today. In all these moments of humanity history there has always been the necessity of preserving human rights. There has always been the necessity of searching for justice, but unfortunately those objectives have not always been met. That is why there is a necessity of checking them once and again and to reflect about them.
Educating for Human Rights
Today is necessary to guide and educate in relation to human rights, so then respect and human being’s dignity reign in the societies. For this reason, is important to teach human values, because they teach human rights as base for all the rest of relationships. It is necessary that in every human action, men feel respected and that their rights and duties are recognized.
Human values such as respect, solidarity, love, equality, equity, freedom and other elements that nourish human rights’ education.
In Angola we see that there are many human rights’ violations, such as:
- Health’s right: lack of hospitals and hospital conditions for attending public health.
- Education’s right: lack of public schools with worthy conditions.
- Registration’s right: it is very difficult to obtain a birth registry and an ID card.
These and many other rights that are violated or not fully obeyed are responsibility of some organizations and are also responsibility of ourselves as we are part of this society.
Though the government is responsible of warranting and preserving human rights, the responsibility of human rights is for all of us, taking into consideration that every citizen has rights and duties (article 29). Lack of collaboration among government and ecclesiastical organizations as well as people in general contributes to the violation of those human rights.
Children rights, formation’s focus
To achieve the objective, most primary teachers participated in this formation because they work with children day to day. And now, that it is pretended to come back to classes after the forced stop provoked by covid 19, it was a good opportunity to train and equip teachers with diverse elements in addition to preventive attention they must consider.
We know that a child is a being developing and he/she must be the priority of adults in every aspect, especially because every adult’s attitude could brand a child for life, in a good or a bad way. In case of violating a right, the child’s development and growing could be obstructed. For example, the violation of article 7 of Children’s Right that says the following: “all children and young people have the right to a name and nationality, which they should be granted at birth…” When this right is not met -and many times for lack of access to this service- it is being violated one of the main rights of children, which will prevent them from going to school, having a legal identity and in other aspects. When lack of documentation prevents children from going to school, school delay takes place, which could lead a child to illiteracy and other consequences.
It is important that adults know and be conscious about the importance of preserving Children’s rights. During our formation the most violated rights were mentioned:
- Registration right (article 7)
- Education right (article 28)
- Health right (article 24)
- Life right (article 6)
- Free expression’s right (article 13)
- Protection against sexual abuse’s right (article 34).
Among many others, these were the most distinguished.
Facing this reality, the Missionary Dominican Sisters of the Rosary novices are called to work and to be with the people. We feel challenged by this reality, which is to preserve children’s right. For this, we have a challenge that is our mission with the people, which means to provide them the same rights. Also, we proposed to ourselves to know and dominate those rights from our formation and quotidian life. The formation on Human Rights has awaken on us the wish of fighting for the rights of the children of the families we used to visit on Sundays before covid19. In relation to this wish of contributing in the improvement of children’s treatment in the families, we have developed a short and long-term action plan as a commitment, which states:
- What do we do?
To raise awareness about human rights and to focus on children’s rights.
- Who are going to work with?
With neighbor families: adults and children
- How are we going to work?
Meeting the families
Arrange meetings to meet children and their tutors
Set up games and plays that reflect respect for children
- Where are we going to work?
In our center with Sister Maria AuxiliadoraEn nuestro centro, con la Hermana María Auxiliadora
We take this opportunity for sending our appreciation to the sisters of the congregation.
Novices – Continental Novitiate.