I have been through a lot of challenges as a teenager growing up on the dusty streets of Sithobela, Swaziland. Walking 7 km to and from school every day, working long hours in the fields just to get food... However, unlike most of my peers, I have in the back of my mind a sense of true determination and perseverance, in spite of all the difficulties I am faced with daily. One question I trouble myself with is, "persevere for what exactly?".
Too much school work! I don’t feel like staying in my room any longer! What do I do? It’s very simple.
Whether utterly stressed or not at all – sad, happy, angry, or calm – nature and music have proven to complete my life. The good thing is, they are always there, easily accessible, waiting for me. And you.
In a country where governmental respect and concern are only given to the “upper class” in society, and where laws and beliefs are still established on a sexist basis, it’s hard to find happiness and mental relief. Living in a community where dreaming big falls under the wrong mindset, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay away from mental illness.
All humans have certain rights to live a sustainable life, and today we celebrate those rights on International Human Rights Day. One of the most important rights of all humans, regardless of who they are or where they come from, is their right to happiness. I know that sounds a bit generic or broad, but nowadays, living in a world full of wars, stress, and mistrust, it can be hard to live the happy life which we are entitled to.
The lack of gender equality in this world is a major concern. Every dollar that a male earns equates to 82c that a female of the same job receives. This refers to the gender pay gap. On average, women earn $283.20 less than men per week. In Australia, 1 in 5 women have endured sexual assault since the age of 15. In a study from 2007-2012, one in four women experience sexual harassment in their workplace.
This past year, being a reporter was the most dangerous profession in my country, Mexico. Reporters who spoke up about real issues and used the media to reveal the truth about politicians, leaders, and current situations were suddenly missing, and then found dead days later, with no sign of the culprit.
Since the universal declaration of human rights (UDHR) by the United Nations, the implementation of these rights around the world has been a myth, due to the fact that human rights are not universal, as geographical, economical, political, and cultural differences are evident around the world. Human rights have the potential to form an “ideal” world, yet implementing these set of rights is incredibly challenging.
Everywhere in the world, access to high quality education varies between different socio-economic groups. This variation could be considered to stem from genetic influences, but it is also the result of differences in access to resources and opportunities. Australia is no exception.
It was at the age of fifteen that I first became acquainted with the word ‘depression’. Living in a modest, joint family in Pakistan, the word was unfamiliar to me until then. Returning from school one day, I had discovered my aunt in a state of motionlessness that was not only frightening but deeply disturbing. My aunt had been suffering from chronic depression and had tried to commit suicide.
TeenzTalk's Blog is here to amplify youth stories & perspectives on topics including personal challenges, self-care practices, initiatives in their community, & more.