Saturday, March 1, 2008

Free the Children Vow of Silence Campaign

The following is reproduced from a Canadian Press article.

TORONTO - Surfing the Net, posting messages on Facebook and texting have become as routine for many young people as eating and sleeping.

But this Saturday, some students are choosing to power down their laptops and cellphones in support of the Vow of Silence campaign.

Students who participate will refuse to use all sorts of communication methods, including cellphones, e-mail, text messages and even hand gestures as part of the 24-hour campaign. Some participants may even decide to go without speaking all day.

The initiative organized by Free The Children is to recognize youth around the world "who do not have a voice."

"Each year on March 1, thousands of students involved in Free The Children's Youth in Action groups refuse to speak to raise awareness about children's rights issues worldwide," said Allison Sandmeyer, Free The Children's youth programming director, in a release.

"On this day, young people use the power of silence to protest against child rights issues and to illustrate what youth around the world, unable to speak up about the injustice done to them, experience daily."

All funds raised from pledges collected during the campaign will support Free The Children's long-term development programs in Kenya, Sri Lanka, China and Sierra Leone to provide youth access to quality education.

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