To This Day...For the bullied and the beautiful
video Shane Koyczan talks about how we are given titles and then asked what we wanted to be when we grow up. Shane talks about his experience as a kid and how he was asked what he wanted to be and then as he said what he wanted to be he was told what not to be. He was being told to accept the identity that others would give him, because they were "silly" in the eyes of others. Shane talks about his experience of becoming a bully due to the way society expected him to become. In this video Shane recites his poem "To This Day" accompanied by a video that went right along with his poem. This poem was inspirational and absolutely true. This poem brings to life the damages that are done daily from bullying and the affects of those we trust simply saying "kids will be cruel" and never actually doing anything about the bullying. This poem is one that could be used over and over again to really show the affects of bullying with words and pictures. Shane's poem is humorous and haunting but does a wonderful job bringing forward the ever growing problem of bullying.
Written by: Jacquelyne Mckiernan
A girl who demanded school
is an amazing and empowering video to watch. When she was five years old, she found out she was engaged to be married. Her mother was denied an education. So, she wanted her children to receive an education. Her father was a policeman. Her father was hardly ever around. When her father returned things changed. Her mother grew crops, took care of the cows and goats. Her father would sell the cows, and went drinking, with his friends. Since, her mother was a woman, women could not own property. So, her father got everything by default. If her mother, ever questioned her father. She would be beaten and abused. In her county, there is a rite of passage ceremony for young girls. Kakenya Ntaiya made a deal with her father; she would undergo the rite of passage female circumcision, if he would let her finish high school. Kakenya describes the horror of the circumcision ritual, at thirteen. She explains, that many girls die from this mutilation. This was very heartbreaking to hear, that so many girls are going through this. After her circumcision, she went to high school. It was very heartbreaking to hear this story.
After finishing high school, Kakenya wants to further her education. Kakenya meets a young man, from her village who has been to a University in America. He has nice clothes, shoes and is very happy. She applied and was accepted ,at a college, in Virginia. Her whole village, supported her trip to America. She made a promise to the men who sponsored her trip, that she would come back and help her village. While she was in America, she learns that it is illegal, how her mother, other women and herself were treated. She keeps her promise and works with village elders to build a school for girls, in Kenya. This school has saved 125 girls from being mutilated, beaten and being married at 12 . With a college education, she returned to her village and negotiated for a school to be built for girls. It was amazing, seeing this one woman’s strength and determination to make a better place for girls, in her country.
Written by: Shernaye James