I want to be a human rights activist – pupil
SHANE Bassin doesn’t hesitate when asked about the field he would like to pursue once he leaves high school: becoming a human rights activist.
“I want to change the lives of others and make a difference in the world,” says the 18-year-old pupil at King David High School in Linksfield.
It’s a dream he has worked towards all his life. “Ever since I was a little boy I’ve been helping people, through my mother who runs a number of outreach projects and who has devoted her life to the service of others. She is a humanitarian and she inspires me very much.”
So it’s hardly a surprise that Bassin, the head boy, has been the driving force behind a number of successful human rights awareness campaigns at his school.
Last week, he and his peers at King David launched the #IExist campaign, aimed at encouraging pupils to lear n about various social crises.
Topics included human trafficking, gender and disability inequalities, the refugee crises and genocide.
“The past week was in light of Human Rights Day. To commemorate this, the student body and staff (close to 1 000 in total) launched the campaign.”
It’s a call to world leaders, demanding they give “all the lost, wandering people who are denied identities, a voice”.
It encourages compassion and action for those who do not have voices, through the actions of young people.
Bassin, a CEO SleepOut Youth Ambassador, says he and his school mates hope to take the campaign further.
“Individuals, companies, schools and organisations are all encouraged to take part by posting their #IExist photos and videos online to create an international wave of awareness.”
The response to the campaign has been overwhelming, he said.
“Our school has received hundreds of emails. It’s been a talking point in the community, and a lot of people have shared pictures on Facebook and other social media platforms, so that’s really great. The campaign is very powerful and has had an impact on students and their lives.”