Helen C., from Los Angeles, describes why she became involved with the IHL Action Campaign.
I got involved in IHL Action Campaign at the recommendation of my Team Leader, Melanie N. At first, I did not want to join the team because the IHL Action Campaign is an extensive project that requires a great amount of time. I thought I would not be able to make a commitment to it; however, after looking through the details of the IHL Action Campaign – what this campaign does and how it impacts people’s lives – I decided to join the team.
In addition to understanding the importance of the campaign, I also sought the chance to meet new people, involve myself in new circumstances, and learn more about International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and the major humanitarian problems around the world today, especially for refugees, a topic on which I lacked knowledge. Today, youth lack knowledge on worldwide problems and conflicts. However, through the IHL Action Campaign, it is easier to approach these students since in the campaign students are “teaching” other students. The similar perspectives shared by students through this sort of peer education can help youth better understand how armed conflicts affect refugees.
As I stated, the other main reason I wanted to join the IHL Action Campaign team was because I myself did not know much about refugees, and for this campaign, learning and spreading the word seemed very important. Some of my friends and even some adults did not know what problems refugees faced, which gave me a chance to spread the word to them. People today can be extremely self-centered; everything is about me, me, me. Thus, learning about others is an especially important addition to people’s lives.
*The purpose of the IHL Action Campaign is for young people to teach their peers about the importance of IHL, as well as issues related to gender, refugees, and humanitarianism.