International Aravaca, partner school of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation Spain

As part of our IA together values education project, we have begun collaborating with CIS University, The College for International Studies, and the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation Spain, to implement its Human Rights Education programme, Speak Truth to Power.

Speak Truth to Power is a programme present in 20 countries and created by the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation. It explores the fundamental rights of every human being, through well-known advocates such as Malala and Desmond Tutu.  The programme seeks to raise awareness through education. That is why knowing and understanding what Human Rights are is fundamental to be able to act if there is any injustice in society, or in one’s own community.  The idea stems from the fact that anyone can defend Human Rights.

The director of the foundation in Spain, Anthony Verrecchio, comments: “Our aim is to increase the number of people in Spain who are aware of human rights, to improve the situation of as many citizens as possible, and to encourage cooperation between the population and the European community, in terms of education and initiatives promoted by governments. We firmly believe that education is the backbone of any developed society that wants to prosper.”

The programme is going to be introduced as part of the Contemporary History subject for our 4th ESO students. It consists of the teacher, in this case, Tatiana Calvo, and the students becoming defenders of Human Rights. To do this, a series of sessions will be held during the course, where, through real characters, they will understand and value the need to take responsibility for society. They will work on Human Rights through 35 defenders, and the students will carry out activities, debates and reflections on the subject in order to become defenders themselves.

Tatiana comments “It should be a compulsory subject to understand the importance of Human Rights as a responsibility that each one of us has, raising awareness among students and teachers as a united community. Society also depends on us, as we can take small actions on a daily basis to integrate all human beings and not be part of discrimination in any sense. Adolescents live in an interconnected and global world, they must grow up with a will for change, respect and tolerance”.

During the first session of this renowned programme, the students were moved by current data that society is not aware of, such as the fact that 105,000 people in Spain suffer from so-called “modern slavery”. Anthony Verrecchio, director of RFK Humans Rights Spain, also participated in this session and was very impressed with the students of the school, as well as excited by their enthusiasm and commitment to the programme:

“I care a lot about interacting with young people, the owners of the future, to find out their concerns and views. The group I met this week seemed very interested and their level of participation was inspiring. It is very important that schools like Internacional Aravaca take part in this initiative and we are very happy that they have joined the cause – congratulations on your commitment to the future and to society!”