Sunday, October 26, 2008

UN Millenium Goal Poetry Competition

By Tiina Mustakangas

The students of Haukipudas High School have been writing poems on UN Millenium Goals in their English Culture Course for some time now. The artistic talent and the touching contents of the poems have surprised their English teachers. It isn't easy to write a good poem in a foreign language, but our students succeeded very well.

Before leaving to our fall break in October, a jury of 14 students and a jury of English teachers read through all the poems (on the poetry section of our website), and voted on the best ones.
The winner of the poetry competition was unanimously Siiri Jänkälä who wrote the following poem:

There are bones in Africa that need flesh
What about water which is fresh?

It's horrible when reality hits
What have they done to deserve this?

Instead of all that sorrow
You can always dream of a better tomorrow

Congratulations Siiri!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The human rights I consider most important

Human rights are a tricky subject as different cultures have differing views on them either based on religious reasons or practical ones.

One such right, among others, is defined in the United Nations’ Declaration of human rights: freedom of religion. While it is admirable in itself, I would extend it to a complete, total freedom of choice, be it ideological, political, economical etc. I strongly feel that every single person should not only be allowed to make the decisions concerning their life but also able to make them. However, it is merely the ideal destination to get to and not exactly an accomplishable goal, but the world would most definite be a much better place if we at least tried.

Closely connected to freedom is equality. For example, women’s position in Islamic culture is massively different to the western conception of the independent woman. In my view, each individual should receive the same treatment and respect from other people regardless of their gender, skin colour, nationality, ethnicity, language or occupation. Then again, this highlights my first point: it’s a choice made by Islamic women and I’m in no position to judge that.

Naturally, the ability to make decisions at all depends on one thing: knowledge, which brings up two rights. Firstly, everyone, in my opinion, has a right to gain and accumulate knowledge so much as they please. This means that everyone is entitled to education, preferably a free one, and that the distribution of information should be entirely free. The absence of censorship would then emphasize the parents’ responsibility even more.

On a more recent topic relating to the system known as school, people should be able to study in their own language, which would enhance their process of handling vital information and thus make it more accessible to them.

Then there is the basis for everything else. Every single human being should positively and absolutely have the right and possibility to satisfy their utmost basic needs: to eat when hungry, quench their thirst, have proper hygiene and be healthy. On the subject, Mahatma Gandhi once said, and I quote: “The world has enough resources to satisfy everyone’s needs, but not enough to satisfy everyone’s greed.”

By Juhani Pätsi (student of Haukipudas High School)