Teen Activists Every heard the term “A bullet can’t kill a dream”? This term definitely applies to teen activist who would take a bullet to the head to keep their dream of a better world alive. Teen Activists help the world by gathering followers and try to knock out one world problem at a time.
Their charities can range from a simple lemonade stand or food drive, to getting thousands upon thousands of people around the world to support the cause by donating, protesting, or even leading hundreds of thousands of people behind you and walk with signs down the biggest and most important places in their countries like Malala Yousafzai, Hannah Taylor, and Iqbal Masih.
They come from all different countries, come in different shapes, sizes, and colors, and speak different languages but they all have one very important thing in common, all teen activist have an idea of a better world and want to make their dream a reality no matter what they have to overcome. When I think of teen activists I think of a person who helps poor people move into a better situation, this is exactly what a young girl named Hannah Taylor did.
After seeing a man digging out of a garbage can for supper when she was only 5, the image stayed in her mind for years, “Why, why, why? ” she asked. “If everyone shared what they had, would that cure homelessness? ” (Hannah Taylor). Now 13 years later, the question that wondered her child brain thrives in her mind and she wants to do something about it. At age 6, Hannah founded the Ladybug Foundation. “My hope is that when we walk this mile together, we remember those who must walk this mile in poverty everyday. ” (Hannah Taylor).
This selfless event that she runs every year on National Red Scarf Day, has been brought attention from the news, fundraisers, and schools all around America. She has spoken at more than 175 schools, organizations, and events. At one event she went to, one of the quietest child stepped out from the back of the room, gave Hannah a big hug, and whispered, “Until today I thought no one loved me. Now I know you love me. ” At this point she must have known that all the work to help people was definitely worth it to see children happy.
This idea that Hannah created to make a better world, takes endless amounts of work, and volunteers who make the Ladybug Foundation possible. Malala Yousafzai, believes that all children should have an education throughout the world, so she, like the other teen activist, did something about it. The first thing she did was write a blog for the BBC Urdu service about fears that her school would be attacked and the increasing military activity. Her following became huge as Malala continued to write about women’s rights.
The Taliban however, was not happy about Malala’s point of view. On October 9, 2012. Malala was coming home from school on the bus with her friends when a man approached the bus. He jumped up into the back seats where Malala and her friends were riding and demanded to know who Malala was. Her friends looked at her revealing her position. The man immediately fired at her head at point blank range, the bullet however, remarkably missed her brain, it traveled through the left side of her head past her brain and exited through her left shoulder.
She survived the attack and still continues to protest against women not having equal rights. Since 2013 she and Ziauddin organized a charity supporting women’s rights, the organization is called the Malala Fund and has raised 7 million dollars in the past 3 years. In 2011 she had been awarded the first Youth Nobel Prize and was nominated for Internationals Children’s Peace Prize. She even has a celebratory day honoring her on July 12. Malala’s determination to make a better world has been noticed by billions of people all around the world.
Iqbal Masih grew up with an extremely poor family in a poor neighborhood but he still managed to change the world with his Anti-Slavery Movement in Pakistan. Iqbal never had the stuff like we have, he didn’t have nice clothes, shoes or a family that really loved him, his dad abandoned the already poor family he was born into. His family was holding on by a thread to keep from starving and that thread was about to snap. His mom had to go to huge lengths to be able to support the family even if it meant selling their youngest to afford a piece of bread.
In 1986, Iqbal’s oldest brother was about to get married but the family had absolutely no money to pay for it. Being an extremely poor family in Pakistan, Iqbal’s mom made a deal with an employer who agreed to lend the family 600 rupees (Pakistan currency) in return, Ms. Masih sold Iqbal who would work for the employer at his carpet factory until the debt was paid off. During his working hours, which was 14 hours a day, everything, including food, tools, and clothes, cost him money which added to the debt that he had to work off, he was even fined additional money when he made a mistake.
He and the other children working at the factory worked in horrible conditions such as having to tie millions of knots while crouching down on the floor, not being able to communicate with one another, and if they were caught dozing off or daydreaming, they would be beaten or cut by guards using the tools they used to do their work. Iqbal worked endlessly in the terrible conditions but even working for hours a day, he couldn’t earn enough money to pay of the debt.
Eventually he’d had enough, “Children should have pens in their hands not tools” -Iqbal Masih, after 6 years of working in the factory, Iqbal heard about a meeting of the Bonded Labor Liberation Front (BLLF) which was a foundation dedicated to helping children in working conditions like Iqbal’s. After work on day, Iqbal snuck out of the factory and went to the meeting. There he learned that if he filled out the right paperwork, he could be free again. He talked to the head of the BLLF, Eshan Ullah Khan who gave him the paper which he gave is employer and was soon after set free as well as the other children working with him in the factory.
Since then he attended school at the School Of BLLF in Lahore, became very involved in BLLF demonstrations and meetings, and even posed as a slave at the factory to gather information on the children worker there. He began speaking to “international activists and journalists” about his personal experiences as a child laborer. As Iqbal became more noticed throughout the world, he began to get death threats however, he was too busy working on setting slaves free, he had no time to worry about the treats.
On April 16, 1995, Iqbal was riding his bike with his friends when a man walked up to them and shot all three of them, Iqbal died immediately, and the two others with him were only minorly injured. Though Iqbal only lived for 12 short years, he made a huge impact on the lives of child slaves. No matter what size, shape, or color these teen activists are, they all have a dream that they want to show to the world and will get it done no matter the price or the amount of selfsacrifice they have to make. “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. ” (Jane Goodall)