to Guarantee the Right to Education to African Youth Through Scholarships
“Is education a human right? Why or why not?”
This was the question posed to classrooms of youth in Cameroon, Liberia, Nigeria and Ghana. In response, dozens of children sent in passionate essays from which four were chosen, one from each country, with the winners announced at an inspirational dinner and fundraiser at the Fraser Mansion. The essay contest was run by the Miss Africa USA Pageant and Youth for Human Rights International to guarantee the right to education for African youth who will grow up and defend the same.
Sharing their insight on the right to education to an audience of officials, dignitaries and humanitarians on the occasion were Lady Kate Njeuma, Founder and CEO of the Miss Africa USA Pageant; Jay Yarsiah, African Programs Director for Youth for Human Rights International; Alice Gyamfi, Miss Ghana USA; Larissa Ngangoum, Miss Cameroon USA; Christopher Nippy, First Secretary of the Embassy of Liberia; and Hope Sullivan, President and CEO of the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation.
“As we sit here today in the most powerful city of the richest country on this planet, I ask each of you – what will be your commitment today for the millions of vulnerable souls who are being denied a quality life by being denied access to education? What is our call to action?” said Ms. Sullivan.
According to the World Bank, 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world are not attending school, and nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their name.
A real life embodiment of these devastating statistics, Nkeng Braitewell, a thirteen-year-old boy in Limbe, Cameroon, wrote in his winning essay, “In Cameroon, education is not free, my father died, my mother is a farmer, my mother always pleads to her family and friends to help find money for my school fees.
“When I grow up as an educated man, I will help other children like me. Education is the most important thing in the world, but many children like me are struggling. When I grow up, I will tell the government to help all children, poor or rich, to go to school. It is good for our future and for our country Cameroon.”
Other winners included Abubakari Ikiman of the Almighty International School in Ghana, and Jamie Roach of Surefoot International School in Nigeria.
The Miss Africa USA Pageant is the largest and most publicized pageant that features African women in the United States today, and grooms a new generation of African women leaders to impact their communities in Africa, America and the rest of the world. The Pageant enables African girls in America to shine the spotlight on Africa, tell their stories to the world, inspire one another, build self esteem, and feel beautiful inside and out.
Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by Dr. Mary Shuttleworth, an educator born and raised in apartheid South Africa, where she witnessed the devastating effects of discrimination and the absence of basic human rights.
The purpose of YHRI is to teach youth about human rights, specifically the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and inspire them to become advocates for tolerance and peace. YHRI has now grown into a global movement, including hundreds of groups, clubs and chapters around the world.
The Fraser Mansion is home to the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office, which serves to assist and support in any way needed those individuals and organizations, public and private, who share its social and humanitarian aims. The Church of Scientology supports global humanitarian educational initiatives with the goal of creating future generations with awareness of and advocacy for human rights.