This summer, #TheChangsters had the opportunity to experience their first ever overnight camp, I am so glad they stayed with Me To We Ontario Take Action Camp. It is a place filled with positive vibes, high spirits and great inspirations, and of course I asked the girls to share what they have learned from the week long experience.
From @LaetitiaChang (13-year-old, exploring, identifying and defining), Global Team
I learned a lot from Take Action Camp, the one thing that really stood out for me was how it opened up my mind and changed my views on the world.
For example, I have never really thought about this, but “developing countries” aren’t really developing countries; because by calling these countries this, we’re indicating that our country is already fully developed, which we’re not. We’re still ‘developing countries.’ The only difference between us and those countries is that we have it better off. WAY better off. We have more privileges, we get to have an education, we get to have clean water, we have so much more than them, but we’re still developing. We can’t call them 3rd world countries either. We only have ONE world that we live in. We have THIS world. We share the Earth, it’s our one and only world. Why do we separate our countries into 1st, 2nd, and 3rd world countries when we’re all living in this same, one world?
Instead of calling these countries “developing countries” or “3rd world countries”, we should call them majority countries. Why? Because the majority of the world doesn’t have what “1st world countries” have. They don’t have nice houses, clean water, good education, etc. Yes, we have struggles, but they have so much more than us. The fact is that, it’s not even the majority of the world that’s better off. The majority of the world is facing so many problems and crises.
I knew about privileges before camp too, but I always thought of privileges as wifi, handheld devices, electricity, etc. At camp, I learned that even just having a shower is considered a privilege. In our breakout groups, we talked about how we should accept the privileges we have, just never take them for granted. Us not using a privilege, doesn’t give it to someone else.
The camp taught me more about the world we live in, it not only taught me to open up my eyes and mind to view the world from different perspectives, most importantly, it taught me more about myself. I learned about who I am, and I found out more than I ever knew about me. I found my true self that I have the power to create change and make an impact.
From @EmmanuelleChang (11-year-old, showing, telling and doing), Local Team
At Take Action Camp Ontario 2015, I was surrounded by people who had set the same goal as me: to make an Action Plan that can make a change. A safe space was created so we could talk about things that we are passionate and why, without being judged. Safe spaces are important when discussing Action Plans because some people have a very personal reason as to why they are so passionate about a certain cause. Everyone was so extremely spirited about what they were doing.
TAC Ontario 2015 was such an empowering experience for me. The most important thing I took home from camp was that one action we make as the power to make an impact, big or small, on someone else’s life. An example of this is if I buy one “Education Rafiki Bracelet”, I would give one month’s worth of school supplies to a child and be supporting the Mamas in rural Kenya who are paid a fair wage to make these products.
One action can change a person’s life, whether it is a negative or positive impact. The most common negative action would be cyberbullying. One comment, one picture, or one post can cause a whole chain of people reacting negatively to the situation and cause the victim’s world to come crashing down. They may feel hurt, or alone, and separate themselves from others who care about them instead of talking to them. One action can have so much power that we may never realize it.
Within the group of people I was working with, after hearing what everyone was passionate about, a common theme was bullying or discrimination. Many variations were concerns about the LGBTQ+ community, racism, gender equality, and mental or physical disabilities. I think that this is great because equality is something that I am also passionate about. Bullying is a common, yet serious issue that appears in most schools or online. The biggest step we can take towards stopping bullying is simply when seeing it, to tell the bully that it’s wrong, while keeping in mind that the bully is also a person and may just be going through a tough time and doesn’t know how to deal with the anger.
One small action can actually have a big step towards ending an issue. If we can all come together and take action as one, we can end big or small issues in our community, and in the world.
Did you attend Take Action Camp? What is your action plan? Share with us and let #TheChangsters girls cheer you on, let’s support each other!