2 weeks ago, I attended the “World Bank Group Youth Summit 2016: Rethinking Education for the New Millennium”. I was extremely excited, and also reflective; turns out that a friend of mine had told me about this conference, just when I arrived to DC. He told me about a contest the WBG was doing for this event…I didn’t participate. I didn’t know if my host organization would give me permission to (even) attend to this event, that I let that opportunity slip through my hands! Anyway, I ended up having an amazing experience, and now, I’m not willing to let any other chance go away. Now, on the good side of the story,
I RE-DISCOVERED MY PASSION FOR EDUCATION.
God! It even feels so good writing it down! I re-discovered my whole self!
For a very long time, I’ve known that my purpose in life is to educate people; to bring awareness, and consciousness about our world issues, and bring people together. It is of course, that everything I think, and dream, manifests through education in every area of my life. I am an activist, and a teacher, both professionally, and in life itself (well, here I’m also a very disruptive learner). Therefore, what this conference brought to light again inside of me; was the huge desire I have for girls to be empowered, dignified, and validated. I attended a workshop (within the conference) with the “Let Girls Learn” initiative by Peace Corps; needless to say, I was BLOWN AWAY. As a good teacher (and a Virgo sign) my inner perfectionist came out! As the workshop went by, I kept on thinking:
“WHY DON’T WE HAVE THIS IN MEXICO? HOW DO I CHANGE THIS IN MEXICO? WHO AM I, IN THE MEXICAN SOCIETY, WHAT ROLE DO I PLAY, AND HOW DO I USE IT TO CHANGE EDUCATION IN MY COUNTRY?”
Why was I thinking all that? Because our education is far from perfect and I don’t like that; and when I don’t like something, I change it. I’m completely aware that Mexico is not Finland; but how do I (at least) strive to get us there? So, that’s when it hit me! That’s when I knew that my purpose has always been there, I had just put it in a corner, and forgot to pay attention to it. I learnt that:
1.- Number one cause of girls not going to school or drop out of it, is early (most of the times forced/arranged) marriage or pregnancy.
2- Millions of girls around the globe are denied education just because of their gender; and once they’re actually going to school; they suffer from gender-based violence.
As I stood there, I realized that in order to get us to a ‘Finland’ level… we start with girls; we start with equality; we start with a dignified education, and validation of GIRLS. Now, I’m not saying that I will forget about boys, or that I’m not going to be inclusive about them; but in order to have an ‘inclusive education’ ;we cannot leave anyone behind or neglect their basic rights just because they’re not believed to be as worthy as the opposite gender.
On a second note, I also learned about top skills for 2020 for professional development; and we had a GREAT brainstorming session by regions, where I got to learn about education problems from a Latin American perspective. This youth summit definitely changed me. It gave me new goals, new experiences, new friends from all over the world (I need to visit Africa, now!); and most importantly, it gave me A NEW CAUSE! (This is like…unlocking a new level at Mario Bros or earning a new skill badge as a Scout). WBGYS, made me aware about the fact that I hold the world on my shoulders (in a great amazing way); just like “Atlas”, I’m responsible for EDUCATION: the most important and valuable weapon we have to give a new story to this great world. I am a teacher, I am an educator, and I am decided to commit my life to give girls the opportunity to go to school; and educate our nations, all over the world.