On November 30th, young people around the world were ‘silent’ for 1 to 24 hours in solidarity with children who are being silenced by poverty and exploitation. The Vow of (Silence) is a Free The Children initiative that is meant to attract as much attention as possible to raise awareness and create real social change. Richland students, staff and Faculty took part in the campaign for a third consecutive year to ‘take a stand’ for children’s well-being worldwide and give a voice to the millions of children around the world whose basic rights have not been upheld.
Our Richland Ambassadors began the school day with a special ‘silent’ presentation explaining the meaning of the campaign. Students were then silent for 1-3 hours, with some of the older students choosing to increase the duration of their silence. During the Vow, students worked in complete silence with no speaking, no emailing, and no note-writing. Some students later remarked that it was “hard not to communicate” and that it “felt impossible.”
By exercising our power to campaign for children’s rights, we helped spread awareness so that others will begin to take action too. We are proud to support such a worthy cause that develops our students’ awareness and understanding of the unfair conditions by which other children may live. As a member of Peaceful Schools International and Free The Children’s We Schools in Action, we will continue to build awareness about the lives of other children around the world. Click here to learn more about the Vow of (Silence) on Free The Children’s website.
Grade 6 student, Michael D., reflecting on the Vow of (Silence):
When I first woke up, it was difficult to not speak to my mom and sister, but when I got to school, it was a whole different story. My class had studio/art for the first 2 periods of the day, and we were not even allowed to use hand-gestures. That was so hard! First I couldn’t speak, and then I couldn’t even make hand gestures? Not before long, I realized that was exactly how some children around the world feel; they don’t get to speak their thoughts, their mind, their feelings and opinions on things. It made me think that something has to be done.