It's luck that affords us privilege, luck of birth. I suspect we want to feel special, somehow worthy of the luxuries we were born into, luxuries like a place to live, in a country where there is no war, food to eat, an education, sexual and reproductive rights, the luxury of raising our children in a place where we can expect them to be safe. Too few people are born with these luxuries. Too many are condemned, before they even take a first step, to a life without safe water, enough nourishment, physical autonomy and time and space to learn, explore, and dream.
I don't think that these luxuries that we have inherited should come without responsibilities. I do think that we should take them for granted. These are human rights after all, but I don't think that we should look away while others go without their basic freedom.
We are at war all over the world. People are fleeing conflict and throwing themselves at the mercy of wealthy governments, hoping that to be treated as part of the same species, hoping for a glimmer of humanity. They take with them their children and they know that they will have to start again with nothing, when they finally find a safe place to rest. If they find that place.
Those children live in fear, sleep rough, are in constant danger, go hungry, and thirsty. There are too many children surviving like this.
I work in education. My organization works to provide children in developing countries with access to computers and the Internet in places where there are no schools. We give them access to the world's body of knowledge, a space where they can play, learn, and document their lives. A place where they can search for people they have lost, and look for a way to build a better life.
It's not water, it can't keep them warm, it doesn't nourish their bodies or help them find a soft place to sleep, but it does give hope and a way to make a plan, some autonomy over the future.
The inequalities of our world are unacceptable. Hello World was started because we refuse to tolerate a world without hope, without a window to a better life. And that is what education can be.
I feel powerless and frustrated watching the refugees flee Syria only to be beaten back in Europe. I am disgusted by my government's refusal to honor our commitment to grant asylum to those fleeing war.
I hope that we can find the support to get Project Hello World to refugee camps all over the world. So that people can get past the fences we erect and dive into the world's knowledge, to learn, read, watch films and find friends and mentors from other countries. The possibilities give me hope.
Let's help children everywhere change their luck, with education.