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To Live with Dignity by Nicolás Alberto Cabrera, Argentina


In Latin America and many other developing countries, millions of children are out of school, spending their time on the streets or working in plantations to earn a living. ILO/Maillard JThe boy walked between the cars under the scorching sun. He would probably get a coin or an apple. Meanwhile, he remembered what his brother asked him to repeat to himself: "one ball, two balls, three balls, four balls." No, no, eight, nine, ten balls. He knew this was not right. He needed to talk and learn from his grandpa, who was smart. Grandpa read him books and was fast at calculating the prices of different foods.

His train of thought came to a sudden stop when his father showed up to take him to the soup kitchen, where he could put something good in his stomach and drink clean water. Food., what a nice thing, right? The problem is what comes afterwards, when there is no food: feeling empty and starving. His father always consoled him and told him about the future, but he did not understand a word. He would say one day they would live in a house with comfortable beds and a full fridge, a house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. All of this was the result of some future job that his dad would get with patience and perseverance. His father also told him that they would wake up early to go to school where he would learn, eat at lunchtime, and play in the afternoon. No more begging and silence. In the mean time, he needed to be strong and keep in mind others who had even less than he did.

One more day, the sun set behind the mountains. He held on to his dreams and hoped for a better and fairer dawn, where he wouldn't need to work, where his family could live with dignity, and where the table always had food on and playgrounds would be full of life.

Several articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognize the right to work, to get a salary to support your family, and to own property. A higher awareness of the Declaration is needed to reach a possible dream, which is that all sorts of rights are respected.

Adapted from Nicolás Alberto Cabrera , Age Group 13-15, Argentina, in Spanish, Winner, Writing Contest for International Human Rights Day 2006, Cyberschoolbus, United Nations