Children Who Changed the World: Inspiring Stories of Young Activists
It is often said that changing the world is a daunting task, but the stories of young activists like Joan of Arc, Anne Frank, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux prove otherwise. Despite their age, these children made significant contributions to society and left an indelible mark on history. In this article, we celebrate the achievements of ten young activists who made a remarkable impact on the world through their bravery, perseverance, and dedication to their causes.
1. Iqbal Masih
Iqbal Masih was a Pakistani boy who became a prominent leader in the fight against child labor in Pakistan. At the age of 12, he began speaking out against child slavery and brought awareness to uneducated slave laborers about their human rights and freedom. His eloquent speeches inspired many and his legacy continues to inspire activists around the world.
2. Thandiwe Chama
Thandiwe Chama is a young activist from Zambia who is known for her advocacy for the right of children to be educated. She firmly believes that education is a fundamental right for every child and all children should have access to the same educational opportunities. She has worked tirelessly to promote this belief and has even spoken at conferences about the impact of AIDS on children.
3. Nkosi Johnson
Nkosi Johnson was a South African boy who was born with HIV-positive disease. Despite his condition, he became an inspiration and spoke out against AIDS stigma and the need for equal treatment for people with HIV. He was a speaker at the International AIDS conference and became a powerful voice for people living with the disease.
4. Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani girl who is synonymous with the fight for girls’ education. She was shot by the Taliban for her outspoken advocacy for girls’ rights to education, but refused to be silenced. After surviving the assassination attempt, Malala became a spokesperson for human rights and education and continues to inspire young activists around the world.
5. Dylan Mahalingam
Dylan Mahalingam is a young philanthropist and social activist who founded Lil’ MDGs when he was just nine years old. His non-profit organization aims to empower children and youth to work together towards the Millennium development goals. Dylan has worked with children all around the world to resolve issues including hunger, poverty, education, gender equality, and environmental sustainability.
6. Severn Suzuki
Severn Suzuki founded the Environmental Children’s Organization at the age of nine, which became a group of children committed to learning and teaching others about environmental issues. She has been involved in a variety of environmental projects and speaking engagements to raise awareness about environmental issues. She gave a famous speech at the Earth Summit when she was only 12 years old, known as The Girl Who Silenced the World for 5 Minutes.
7. Ryan White
Ryan White was an American boy who was infected with AIDS through blood transfusions when he was 13 years old. Ryan became an advocate for AIDS education and awareness and helped to educate the public about the illness. His activism led to the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Care (CARE) Act, a program that provides resources to Americans with HIV/AIDS who have no sufficient health care and financial resources.
8. Mattie Stepanek
Mattie Stepanek was a boy poet and profound thinker who had a rare form of muscular dystrophy. He spent his brief lifespan being an advocate for hope, peace, and people with disabilities. His poetry collections, Heartsongs, touched many lives and his NY bestselling books continue to be an inspiration to many.
9. Ryan Hreljac
Ryan Hreljac was only six years old when he decided to help people in Africa have clean water by building a well in a village. He began raising money for water and sanitation projects for people affected by the global water crisis. Because of his perseverance and determination to help, he successfully built his first well in a primary school in Uganda. He continues to raise money to support water sources through his organization, Ryan’s Well Foundation.
10. Katie Stagliano
Katie Stagliano is a young gardener and an anti-hunger advocate. When she was only nine years old, she donated her 40-pound cabbage to a local soup kitchen, which helped to feed more than 200 people. She started her vegetable garden and continues to donate the harvest to those in need.
These young activists came from different backgrounds, but they all shared a passion for making the world a better place. Their remarkable actions prove that age is not a barrier to creating positive change in the world. May their stories inspire us all to strive for goodness and make a difference in the lives of those around us.