“All humans are being born equal and free in dignity and in rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” (Declaration of Human Rights)
This sentence out of the Declaration of Human Rights builds the foundation of the work of Amnesty International. The organization is a global non-governmental and non-profit organization that engages in the protection of Human Rights worldwide. I am part of Amnesty International since 2014 and an active member of the university group of Mainz. Recently my group started a partnership with a group in Accra, Ghana. Through the Twinning Programme Amnesty International groups in Ghana and Germany work together, i.e. through a mutual action. Since, I am in Ghana right now, I wanted to meet our Twinning Group and get to know about the work of AI in Ghana.
Last weekend the Youth Camp of Amnesty International Ghana took place at the Valley View University Campus in Oyibi (an hour from Accra). Apart from Ghanaian members, also Delegates from Germany, Mali, Nigeria and Norway participated in the Programme. I was lucky enough to be part of the Youth Camp and meet people from different countries, engaging all for the same cause.
Being welcomed by traditional dances and drummers, we felt at home right away. The Camp started with the introduction of the topic “The SDGs and Human Rights, The Role of the Youth” and some opening remarks. After a short action on the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) we started with the workshop programme. Nannette of the Ghanaian section, Katja from Germany and I held a workshop on the Twinning programme together. It was very interesting to talk about challenges and struggles within the Twinning, starting with the way of communication or different academic calendar.
The next day, there was a panel discussion on the SDGs and the role of Amnesty International and its youth towards achieving them. Afterwards we should discuss in group work how to take action on the SDGs within our Amnesty groups. We developed ideas for promoting the SDGs through education in schools and public places. Furthermore, we participated in a Foto action on the imprisoned human right defenders Taner Kilic, Murhabazi Namegab und Oyub Titiev. In addition to that, we also took action on the abolition of death penalty in Ghana. Even though death penalty is not practiced anymore, it is legally allowed. Seeing that death penalty violates the Right to Life, Amnesty International is strictly against it. Moses from AI Nigeria told us his touching story how he could flee death penalty, because of the activism of Amnesty. It was very moving to meet someone who was saved by petitions. “A pen can save lives”, Moses said. In the evening we all dressed up and got our Diploma for taking part in the camp.
All in all, I met great people and had a very good and instructive time. The people were very welcoming and one could really feel the idea of “OneAmnesty”.