RErights believes that it’s important to recognise young people who are working hard to make change in their communities. We selected three young people, or groups of young people, from around the world who are using technology to advance their rights and the rights of those around them. Meet our Hi-Tech Heroes! They’ll be involved in a number of areas on RErights, so keep an eye out for them. In the meantime, to find out more about them and their work, check out their links below.
Gabby is the 18 year old founder and CEO of Buddy Project, a non-profit movement aiming to prevent suicide and self-harm by pairing people as buddies and raising awareness for mental health.
When Gabby was 15 years old, she noticed that some of her friends and family were struggling with mental illness and realised how important a friend’s support was for them. Using social media sites like Twitter to spread her message, Gabby started the Buddy Project to pair people experiencing mental illness with a buddy.
To date, the project has paired over 100,000 people and is making a big impact on young people’s lives around the world. The Buddy Project believes that everyone deserves to have one person in their life that they can confide in and call a friend. Technology is not only a great way to connect people, but also to educate people on mental health. Gabby thinks that if kids and teens can learn more about mental health, they could not only save themselves, but also their friends, family, and peers.
“I would love to see technology empower young people to be the best person they can be. Young people are really lucky to grow up in a time period where any piece of information is available at the tap of a few buttons, and the internet should be a place where all people feel like they can do anything.”
Creativity Group is a student organisation from Ghana using technology to solve problems in their communities. Their mission is to help train the next generation of engineers and scientists, to equip members with adequate practical knowledge to help them solve problems in their various communities, and to inspire their members to make change.
Using a range of technology, such as electronics, 3D printing, and web and mobile programming Creativity Group engage with social issues and offer solutions for sustainable development. Their projects so far have included the Offline Server (UServe) which provides an offline version of the internet, with a focus on educational material, to children and schools in remote areas- helping children in Ghana to realise their right to education. They also hold the Scientists of the Future Fair, a practical science competition for senior high school students and are hoping to inspire interest in science and technology.
“Technology provides leverage both as a tool and a source of information to help achieve, protect and advocate for the rights of children.”
14-year-old, Ingrid Soto from Brazil is using music to sing for a better world. As a child, Ingrid would watch the news and see children suffering from violence and conflict and wanted to make the world a better place for them. So she began writing and performing songs that encourage peace and to inspire other young people to speak out and create positive change in the world. At just 10 years old, Ingrid emailed the United Nations offering to help solve global issues facing young people.
Each year she runs campaigns that bring young people together to donate toys and books for refugee children arriving in Brazil to help them realise their rights to life and play. Ingrid uses social media to promote her work and music, and to connect with other young people who want to make change. Without the internet, Ingrid’s work would not be possible.
“Giving a voice to young people using technology can encourage them use their talent to create positive change in the world we live in.”