What Children in Cambodia Think about Equality

Picture painted during the Equality workshop at Takeo, Cambodia in February 2015What do young people in Cambodia think about equality? The results of a workshop in our learning center in Takeo, Cambodia are stunning. 13 students between the age of 13 and 15 wrote down their thoughts about equality during the Advanced Learners Class that was conducted by BOOKBRIDGE Fellow Malin Klinski. Read the little essays and enjoy!

Leakena, 14 years old: In the world everyone needs freedom, unity and peace. So we want equality in the world. When we are equal we will get a life without thinking about position, gender, sexuality, age, religion, disability and we are free. We can do everything we want and we’re protected by law. Nobody needs a bad world and we don’t have to discriminate anyone, me must protect and care for everyone, as we protect and care for ourselves, then everyone will care for you back. If there would be no equality and no human rights everything will be bad, because all people will be cruel and don’t think about the law and will kill each other like during the Pol Pot time. So we really need equality and human rights and we can do a lot for equality like be friendly, share everything to each other, don’t discriminate anyone, love everyone as yourself, be honest and don’t be cruel. The last, I want to tell you, everyone really loves a peaceful world so we need equality and human rights and we should never fight anyone that is different from us, because they are human like us too and we also must care for our planet, too. So we can live in this beautiful world together.

Picture painted during the Equality workshop at Takeo, Cambodia in February 2015Sokhuor, 14 years old: I think equality is very important for all the people around the world so we have the same rights. If the world has equality there will be peace and no war anymore. I think all the people want to get their human rights and nobody should be able to abuse them. For example: if all the children on this earth have human rights, I think there will be enough food, clothes, asylum and they can go to school to get education for their future. So the human rights are very important. We have our human rights from the moment we are born and nobody can take them away from us, not even Mr. Hun Sen or Obama. In the end I think I am just a simple buy from a little village, but I just want to forward this text to the director of the international nations, I want him to help me to create a new right for children. I don’t know about the children in another country, but in Cambodia, some children are born in a very poor family, they can’t go to school, or get enough things that they need like food, books, pens… so I need the help from the director of international nations to help the children in the world. I dream that one day everyone can have equality.

Picture painted during the Equality workshop at Takeo, Cambodia in February 2015Savtey, 15 years old: Hi, my name is Savtey. In my opinion, when we have equality we can do a lot of things and rule this world in a different way. We can go study, play and with education in this world there will be security. Sometimes the people in this world discriminate somebody because they think they are not the same as them. Some people are black, white, poor, rich, straight, gay, young or old. So some people can’t go study don’t have friends, don’t have freedom and get discriminated by other people. Also because they have no money, are not beautiful or poor. So when we don’t have equality it makes everything more difficult and so equality is very important. We can do a lot of good things, if we don’t discriminate each other. For equality I can do a lot of things such as be friendly, happy, nice in the classroom and helpful. It is also important to have a good education, good communication and that I have a lot of friends. So equality is very important for me because I can do a lot of something and human rights are valid for human beings from the minute they are born.

Picture painted during the Equality workshop at Takeo, Cambodia in February 2015Lisa, 13 years old: I think equality is important because then we will not discriminate anyone about gender, religion, age… If there would be no equality and no human rights, the world wouldn’t have peace, no unity and it would be unfair. It would be very horrible and the people would have arguments or will fight because they discriminate instead of helping each other. When the world has equality I can get a high education, because boys and girls are equal. I can choose a person that I love (a girl or a boy), I can have lots of friends and I can choose which religion I want to join. If we all help each other, there will be unity and equality for all people.

Picture painted during the Equality workshop at Takeo, Cambodia in February 2015Raksa, 14 years old: Hello, I’m Raksa. I think equality is important because it helps me to achieve everything that I want and live a beautiful life in freedom and happiness. If there would be no equality and no human rights it seems like in the Pol Pot time. It would be very, very, very hard for the people, unfair and I would be so scared. I want to do everything that I can for equality.

Phana, 13 years old: I think equality is important because then we can all live together in freedom, peace and unity. If there would be no equality and no human rights, it would be like during the Pol Pot time. I don’t ever want to have it again, so I want to have the equality and human rights for everyone in the world. What I can do for equality is not to hate the people that have a black skin, different sexuality, religion or nationality and show everyone my love and support.

Kimheak, 15 years old: In my opinion, I think that equality is important. Because when we have equality and human rights, it is fair for everyone. When we don’t have equality, human rights and social security in the country, bad people can treat us very bad and abuse our rights. They never think about human rights or other people or the law and sometimes the bad person can kill and torture the poor person. For example in the Pol Pot regime the leader killed and tortured all people in Cambodia and took away their rights. We can do a lot of things to prevent something like this from happening again. When we have equality everything is fair and the people can live in the beautiful world and there can be happiness for everyone.

Picture painted during the Equality workshop at Takeo, Cambodia in February 2015Hengheng, 15 years old: I think equality is important, because when everyone has equality, we can live in peace, freedom and most important, we don’t have to be afraid anymore. Moreover “equality” can make us have more friends even when we are rich or poor, we don’t focus on it anymore. So everyone around this world will not be alone, because we will all be the same and we will all have equality. If there would be no equality and no human rights anymore, everyone around the world would still live a life that is full of fear and some people in some countries, still have to live like this. People that have no human rights and no equality live in fear, every minute and every second because nothing can protect them from the worst thing. They can’t say what they want, because they are scared what will happen if they say it out loud. I want to help all the people on this world, so that nobody has to be scared anymore.

Picture painted during the Equality workshop at Takeo, Cambodia in February 2015Dara, 14 years old: I think equality is the most important thing, because with equality we have a lot of rights like freedom and don’t have to think about skin colours and more and can be united. Equality means, all people in the world have the same rights. Our world has 30 human rights and they also teach us, that we should not discriminate anyone because of their nationality, religion, position and more! The best way is, to treat everyone equal. If there would be no equality and no human rights, the world would have a lot of wars like in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 when the Khmer Rouge ruled over the country. So we should have equality and human rights to live in freedom, peace and unity.

Kaknika, 13 years old: I think equality is important, because if we have equality, we can live together in town, we can communicate to each other and we can have a lot of friends. If there would be no equality and no human rights, our country will be in war. If we don’t want a country that is in war we should not discriminate each other, because we can find a lot of friends and that is better than to fight each other. In the end we can do everything to bring equality and human rights to our country and to everyone on this earth, so we can live together in peace and unity.

Picture painted during the Equality workshop at Takeo, Cambodia in February 2015Kiri, 15 years old: You have human rights from the second you are born. Equality is important, because there is only one world that we have and we have protect this world and live in peace and fair and with the law. Every one of us can do something on our own and make sure we live in happiness. If there would be no equality, it is like in Pol Pot time. Only very few people can take away the rights of many and do everything wrong, because people are too scared to stand up against them. They can control us, but in fact, we will always have our human rights and we should fight for them, too. We have the right to do what we want and say what we want and go where we want and love whom we want. We have to stand up for equality, so our children will never worry about their rights again.

Picture painted during the Equality workshop at Takeo, Cambodia in February 2015Nareth, 14 years old: All the people in the world should know about human rights. The most important human right is equality, because all the people, girl or boy, black or white, rich or poor young or old… are the same. If there would be no equality and no human rights, the people will fight against each other and it will be war. I don’t care about gender,disability, sexuality or skin colour and everyone should do the same. In some countries there is no equality, because the people don’t know about the human rights. I want to tell many people about it, so many people can learn about it and change the way they think.

Lyheang, 14 years old: In the world equality is very important, because if there is no equality and no human rights in the world, the people are not save. It will be not fair and we will have the war like during the Pol Pot time. During the Pol Pot time there were many rights that people did not have and there was no equality, because people with knowledge were killed. So if we have equality we can be save and it can be fair for everyone. We can do whatever we want and decide for ourselves how we live and that is why equality is so important.

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