Last Monday, the Global Shapers (Port Louis Hub) teamed up with ELI Africa to organize a Global Dignity Session at the Centre in Roche Bois. At a Global Shapers meeting, Anishah who is country chair for the Global Dignity Project, talked excitedly about the Global Dignity Day and I had the idea of suggesting ELI Africa for the launch. The Global Dignity project was started by Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Pekka Himannen and John Hope. The idea was to sensitize the children about the concept of ‘dignity’ and also spread awareness about the ills of ‘bullying’, while suggested practical ways of curbing ‘bullying’.
Cedric had the wonderful idea of bringing the kids from Pamplemousses at the Roche Bois centre and we had around 20 eager students on D Day. As I was already a member of ELI Africa and knew some of the kids well, I started off the warming up exercise by introducing the activities and mission of ELI Africa to the Global Shapers. I also quickly introduced the kids to the Global Shapers community and talked briefly about the Global Dignity Project.
Anishah then started explaining about the concept of ‘dignity’ and drew examples from the audience. The Global Shapers present were Anishah, Barkha, Shabbir, Trisha and myself and we also quipped in, to explain the term ‘dignity’ in a more concrete manner. After the initial introduction, Anishah then proceeded to explain what ‘bullying’ meant and how it had affected her when she was a teenager in high school.
One of the kids was brave enough to tell us about his experience with bullying and he was encouraged to talk to his parents/teachers about his friend who was calling him names and giving him blows at school. The Global Shapers also gave moving personal accounts about their own harrowing experience with bullying. Shabbir, on his part, stunned us all, by admitting that he was not at the receiving end of bullying at school, but that he actually resorted to bullying tactics at school!
The children were quite shy to tell us about their own experience of bullying but they seemed to be very interested in the session. We also made sure to encourage them to contact any one of us if they were being bullied at school and needed to discuss it with us. We assured them that we would fully support them on this front. At the end of the session, the kids told us their dreams and aspirations and it was so nice to see them so inspired and full of hope for the future.
We concluded the session by having refreshing lemonade and we also had sweets which were distributed by Barkha. Overall it was a great day and the collaboration between the Global Shapers of the Port Louis Hub and ELI Africa worked magnificently. I, for one, look forward to more partnerships between ELI Africa and the Shapers!