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“We take education for granted”

“We take education for granted”

Photographer:Fotograaf: still from the AIMS film

AIMS wins first Maastricht Human Rights Prize

MAASTRICHT. “The alarm wakes me up. Bah, I have to go to university today.” This is how Amnesty International Maastricht Students (AIMS) started their presentation last Thursday during the first Maastricht Human Rights Prize competition. Installed by former mayor Onno Hoes as a farewell present, the competition aims to get young people thinking about human rights. This year’s theme was the right to education. The competitors – from schoolchildren to university students – had to make a creative product aimed at their peers and present it to a jury. AIMS won first prize: a piece of art and €500 to donate to a cause of their choice. Naturally, they chose Amnesty International.

“The jury liked the combination of our presentation and the video that we created”, says Vera Kegel, third-year student of European and International Law and chair of the AIMS group. “When we started to think about the theme we realised how much we take our education for granted, how we sometimes don’t even feel like going.”

The students collected examples of things people do to get to school: riding a donkey through the desert every morning, for example, or wading through freezing rivers. They combined that with information about education, such as the fact that it decreases child marriage rates by 14 per cent. In the video, these statements are written in study books that the students open while sitting on a chair. “We introduced the video by forming a line, lighting a candle and talking about how we came about this idea”, says co-chair and fellow student Magali Mattar. “When one person was finished, they would light the next candle and that person would continue.”

The second and third prize were awarded, respectively, to students from the Bonnefanten College (dance department) and the United World College.

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