If you could be someone else for a day, who would you want to be? Let’s take a quick look at our tally to date: Emma Watson is in the lead, with a mention from Agents in Belgium, Ireland, Mexico, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Next is actually a tie between Taylor Swift and Ellen DeGeneres. The celebrities you’ve listed in Mission Profile are a colourful mix of people from all walks of life! So, who do you admire, who inspires you?
Actors are the most represented, but singers, writers, models, journalists, scientists, TV and sports stars are also listed. Take a look at the list on the infographic, do you know all the names on that list? Are you surprised by some? It’s why you chose those celebrities that is particularly interesting though. There are three broad reasons why you find people inspiring:
- skills and career
- qualities and attributes
- social or political engagement
You admire people for the amazing skills or the talents that they have: award-winning actor, champion beatboxer. You also chose celebrities who share your passions or pursue a career that you aspire to: the model, the journalist, the footballer, the equestrian whose achievements inspire you to also become a model, a journalist, a footballer, or an equestrian. Of course, you find many of those celebrities to be fun and beautiful, but you also value their other qualities: they are smart, witty, humorous, responsible, positive, they have integrity. Intelligence, confidence and resilience appear to be the ultimate attributes that make the difference between someone you like and someone you actually admire. You are inspired by the confidence of those who ‘know what they want to do with their life’, who ‘speak their mind’, and you like how ‘strong’ they are, how they are able to ‘brush off hatred and criticism’ and ‘don’t let anybody bring them down’. You picked those celebrities because they stand up for themselves.
But are they role models for you? Some of the names that you listed may be controversial to some, does it matter? Can you admire someone for one thing yet not approve of another thing they say or do? Or can a controversy cast a shadow over everything a person does?
What do you look for in a role model?
And there is another thing: more than just those strengths, talents and skills, something else really matters to you, and that is how celebrities use their skills, status, fame, wealth or other attributes to advocate for the causes they believe in, for the ‘betterment of society’. You find their social and political engagement especially inspiring and you picked people who ‘make a change in the world’, ‘stand up for rights’, ‘fight for the truth’. The causes they defend and their contribution to the community and those in need is something that really appeals to you. Is this because of their attitude or because you support the same causes?
Do you aspire to make a difference too?
May be the next step is right there for you to make. By joining our community and sharing your experiences and opinions about your rights, you actively participate and make yourself heard. Keep going, complete your next mission or leave a comment on this post!
Operation 2: Mission 1 asks what does the word ‘rights’ mean to you?
Here are some of the definitions that we have received from our agents.
- A right needs to be held with the highest level of integrity
- An entitlement to something
- To protect people against terror, torture and deprivation of freedom.
- Rights are not privileges; rights are entitlements which have to be guarded with moral responsibility and should never be taken advantage of.
- Rights refer to the need for us to get what we need, better known as basic needs, without any interference or disturbance by others who will act as external forces which may jeopardize the rights or needs of a child.
- Rights are inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status.
- Rights are created for all mankind, to have a common good and peace with in the society.
- Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world.
- A right is something everybody should be allowed to have access to.
- Having the freedom to do anything and regardless of colour, race, or where you come from.
Which one do you like the best? Tell us by leaving a comment below.
Where you are plays a big role in who you are. Moreover, how you feel about the place you live in says a lot about you, and we have received fantastic insights into our team of Agents. From the list of things that you like about where you live, we especially noticed three key things: the community, the infrastructure, and the environment, in that order.
The feeling we get from a location relies heavily on the people who live there and how well we can interact with them. Many of you speak about the ‘great community’, the ‘warm’ and ‘friendly people around’ and the network of support provided by a close-knit community as the main reason why you enjoy living where you are. Sometimes the diversity of the population and cultures is what makes a place more attractive. For others, it is the inner circle of friends and family that is also a strong factor. You like where you live because it is your home, and it is home because it is where family and friends are, where you grew up, where you have many memories.
And, if some of you don’t like the lack of community spirit where you live, this is also one of the first things you would improve if you were able to change anything.
“I like it here because all the people who matter to me are close by.” Belgium
“We somehow all share this bond of community life where we regard everyone, even strangers as friends and relatives.” Malaysia
Having access to infrastructure matters a lot to most of our Agents, whether it be schools, public transport, sporting facilities, shops, or easy access to other cities. Being close to areas of interest and the ease of access to those are very much valued. Access to a variety of activities and events, ‘having things to do’ is important for you, but also access to information, to education and employment opportunities.
Your answers also overwhelmingly show to what extent you care about the environment and how sensitive you are to the way your surroundings look. From the beautiful sceneries of the countryside to the beach, the city skyline or scenic views, many of you take pride in the beauty of your area. You are telling us that protecting this environment is a key issue for the future; you place a lot of value on wildlife, unpolluted air, and green spaces. If you could change anything, you would like more trees and parks, less traffic, and less litter. Finally, to live in a safe and peaceful environment is a chance that many Agents recognise and appreciate; you’re telling us this is essential for you to thrive and develop.
And last but not least, we have also found that our team of Agents is a gourmet bunch with a sophisticated palate! Many of you mentioned food as being one of the three things they really like about where they live. Whether it is enjoying the culinary specialities of your own culture, or being able to taste foods from different cultures, having a choice of restaurants to go to, or just lots of yummy and affordable food, your tastebuds certainly enjoy the experience.
On a more serious note, it is very clear from the things you would like to change that you have plenty of great ideas on how to improve the area you live in. You would like to see more community events and youth focused activities or organisations, you want a cleaner greener environment: “plant more trees” (Malaysia), “less pollution” (Brunei).
“I would add more fun inexpensive things for youth to do and I would make sure that all the libraries are open.” South Africa
Not afraid to think big, some Agents added goals such as tackling poverty, promoting open-mindedness, and ending racial discrimination. You want to improve education, change the rules, reform policies, change the mayor… It seems to us that you just can’t wait to be in charge, or at least to be involved in the decision making process. This eagerness to take responsibility is amazing to hear.
“I’d like to change the city plan as a whole. I think the recent town planning failed to preserve city’s history and green space.” Turkey
So, do you recognise yourself in this picture? Or perhaps you don’t and you would like to say something different about where you live, what you like and what you would like to change there. Either way, join in and complete Operation 1 if you haven’t yet done so, and please comment on this post!
Do you know any young people using technology to make a positive change?
Young people all over the world are doing exciting things with digital technology. We want to showcase the potential of these Hi-Tech Heroes to influence positive change and enhance children’s rights.
In 2014, we featured a number of these young people from around the world. Shruti Rai from India uses digital storytelling to highlight important issues such as child marriage, and teaches other young people to do the same. Recently, she has initiated a global digital literacy project called “Four Birds and One Million Stories” which has reached thousands of young people around the world.
Also from India, Kartik Sawhney, a blind student, developed his own audio graph-reading software so that he could pursue his study of sciences in years 11 and 12. His skills in computer programming allowed him to access his right to education and highlighted challenges facing vision-impaired children in developing countries. He now studies computer sciences at Stanford University in the USA.
In Brazil, Rene Silva started a community newspaper at 11 years old in his neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro. His newspaper highlights social issues, such as drug trafficking and healthcare, which affect his community. More recently, he created the Network Voice of the Communities which brings together 17 young people from different states of Brazil to give voice to their communities. He believes digital connectivity is crucial for young people to claim their rights.
RErights is looking for more inspiring Hi-Tech Heroes! If you know any young people, or groups of young people, under the age of 18 who are using technology to make a difference to their lives and the lives of others, make a nomination here.
First round nominations close on Wednesday, 4th May.
In most situations you have to take the good with the bad. Digital technology can provide amazing experiences but is there a cost?
Operation 5: Paradox includes three missions about the positives and negatives of digital technology in relation to your rights, with a special challenge in the last mission.
Mission 1: Opposites – asks you to describe the positive or negative impacts of digital technology on your rights.
Mission 2: Offline – asks about disconnecting from digital technology.
Mission 3: Disconnect – challenges you to switch off from digital technology and to journal your experience.
Are you ready to take on the challenge?