Youth Arch Blog
2nd May 2014 Global Dignity Day
Dignity – originated from dignus in Latin, stands for worthiness in English; its meaning has extended from the concepts of inalienable rights in the Enlightenment era to an important element in the fields of philosophy, religion, human rights, medicine and law in today’s world. The word’s meaning and connotation is varied and complex.
There are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes, the same can be said for the word Dignity. Global Dignity, believing that “Dignity is a faith that are believed by all.” established the Global Dignity Day in 2008 - a day for youth and adults to gather together to discuss Dignity – what it means to them and their relationship with others.
Over the past 6 years, the Dignity project has developed five Dignity Principles:
1. Every human being has a right to lead a dignified life.
2. A dignified life means safeguarding a humane level of health care, education, income and security to provide opportunities for one to fulfill one’s potentials.
3. Dignity means having the freedom to make decisions on one’s life and be respected for the right.
4. Dignity should be the basic guiding principle for all social actions.
5. Ultimately, our own dignity and the dignity we allow for others is interdependent.
Global Dignity encourages youngsters to come up with their own definitions of dignity in addition to the above, and to recognize the multifold meaning of Dignity through discussions on current social issues and global trends in the Global Dignity Day.
This year’s Global Dignity Day theme is “Cultural Diversity, Homelessness, and Environmentally Friendly Living”. Mr. Bitto Singh (a Hong Kong actor of Indian descent), Ms. Sze (an experienced social worker from the Society for Community Organisation) and Mr. Francis Ngai (Founder and CEO of Social Ventures Hong Kong) have been invited as guest speakers to share their experiences and provoke the young minds to define their own dignified life.
Global Dignity Day
It is certainly a galvanizing experience for me.to join the Global Dignity Day for a second time.
On 27th June, 2014, I had the opportunity to facilitate discussions with junior secondary school students on the theme of “dignity” at the Global Dignity Day held at CMA Choi Cheung Kok Secondary School. I led a group of ethnic minority teenagers, each having unique stories to tell on living in Hong Kong - a Pakistani young man being rejected by his peers, a Napalese boy facing daily problems due to language barriers. The challenges they face in everyday life far exceeded any of us could have imagined.
Despite facing many adversities in life, the youth are motivated and keen to be educated and better themselves. I am much inspired by their high-spirit and positive attitude; one example of it is one of the girls volunteered to speak on stage to train herself to overcome stage fright. I am confident that the participating students will abide by their pledge made at the event for years to come – “Respect yourself by believing in your own ability; repect others by giving them dignity and trust.”