Have you ever thought about changing the world?
Everyone has had a dream to make our planet a better place to live on, but are we taking any actions? There are many people we admire, but our hearts fill with joy when we see examples of a child’s innocent and uncorrupted soul bringing real change to the way we think and perceive life.
To their honor, we will list 5 children who have really changed the world by their heroic examples and actions.
1. Iqbal Masih (1982 – 1995)
This Pakistani boy didn’t have a bright and happy childhood. When he was four years old, he was sold to the carpet industry and became a slave for a price of $12. In Muridke, Pakistan, he was “attached” to a carpet loom by a string and was forced to work 12 hours every day.
When he was ten years old, he managed to escape the slavery. Iqbal joined an organization whose mission was to bring an end to child labor. As an activist, he helped over 3,000 to escape from slavery in Pakistan. He inspired many people with his speeches about child labor, which weren’t that inspirational for the “Carpet Mafia”.
Iqbal was murdered in 1995, and the most widely-accepted assumption is that the publicity he brought to the carpet industry being associated with child labor was what brought him to death.
2. Samantha Smith (1972 – 1985)
Samantha Smith was a girl from the USA who became famous when she was ten years old and wrote a letter to Yuri Andropov, the Soviet leader. In the letter, she asked for an explanation for the tense relations between the USA and the Soviet Union, since she didn’t understand why the Cold War was happening. Pravda, a famous Soviet newspaper, published the letter, but Samantha never got an answer.
After that, she wrote a letter to the Ambassador of the Soviet Union in the United States to ask if she was ever going to receive a response by Mr. Andropov. Samantha brought a lot of attention to the absurd of international relations, inexplicable to a young, innocent child. She co-starred in a TV series and wrote a book before she died in a plane crash at the age of 13.
3. Anne Frank (1929 – 1945)
Anne Frank explained to the world how it was to be a Jewish girl in Germany during the Nazi era. Her posthumously-published diary conveys her experiences in the most innocent, childish way, which is also incredibly painful and heartbreaking.
After her family was betrayed and sent to concentration camps in 1944, Anne Frank survived only 7 months in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and died of typhus.
The only survivor of the family was Otto Frank, Anna’s father, who found the diary after the war and brought it to the rest of the world in 1947.
4. Nkosi Johnson (1989 – 2001)
Nkosi was an HIV-positive child from birth. Gail Johnson, a Public Relations practitioner in Johannesburg, legally adopted Nkosi. In 1997, this child awakened the public interest because a primary school in Melville took his HIV-positive status as a reason not to accept him as a pupil.
According to the Constitution of South Africa, discrimination on the grounds of medical status is forbidden, so the school was forced to reverse its decision.
Nkosi didn’t stay in the background; he spoke at the 13th International AIDS Conference and inspired HIV victims to seek equal treatment, because they are human beings like all others.
5. Thandiwe Chama (born in 1991)
When she was 16 years old, this girl from Zambia was awarded with the 2007 International Children’s Peace Prize. When she was only eight, her school was left with no teachers and it was closed. Thandiwe inspired 60 children to search for another school. The Jack Cecup School accepted all children, but that didn’t stop Thandiwe from raising the awareness of everyone’s right to education.
This young girl continues to impress the world with her speeches on children’s rights. She is still fighting for the cause she believes in, and she is contributing towards making our world a better place to live in.
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Apprentice Editor: Sarah Qureshi/Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: David Masters via Flickr