Dignity Day 2016 will be held on October 12, with an aim to reach over 500,000 students around the world. The date was set during a successful annual Country Chairs meeting in Oslo last month.
This year, Global Dignity marks its first decade. The date of the ninth Dignity Day was confirmed at the end of the meeting, which brought together the Founders, Country Chairs and partner organizations of Global Dignity. The gathering was spent discussing and planning what will be an excing year for the organizitaion, as it celebrates a ten-year anniversairy and continues into a new decade. The movement has reached over 60 countries with a distinct message that all people are entitled to a dignified life.
At times of humanitarian crises resulting from wars, concerns about wealth gaps and polarizing political discourses, Global Dignity continues in its mission to have Dignity as a right for all people. The annual meeting also included a public discussion at the Nobel Peace Center, entitled ‘Democratic Values at Risk’. This event comes in line with Global Dignity’s efforts to address varying audiences, from schools and playgrounds to policymakers and civil society. Click here to watch the broadcast.
The Global Dignity event was truly global, with examples given from Sri Lanka, Iraq, Nicaragua, the United States and beyond. Sri Lanka Country Chair Asanga Abeyagoonasekera spoke about the power of forgiveness to resolve conflicts. At the heart of these efforts is respecting the dignity of all sides. Lorna Solis, Founder and CEO of Blue Rose Compass, a partner organization, spoke of her experience as a refugee from Nicaragua and the need to understand that ‘refugees are just like everyone else, wanting a better future for their children’.
As the Global Dignity meeting concluded, there was a renewed sense of purpose from to ensure a ‘better future is possible’ for everyone. Global Dignity Country Chairs have gone back to their countries to scale up efforts to reach audiences, young and old, with a message of hope and dignity. A decade after its first Global Dignity Day event in Canada, the movement has impacted over 1.5 million young people around the world and aims to impact many more in the years ahead.
Below are some of the reflections from the annual GD summit. Watch more reactions in the video above and visit Global Dignity’s Flickr account for more photos from the summit.
1. Global Dignity has reached the ten-year mark. How has the movement been received in your country?
2. What has been your favorite Global Dignity moment so far?
3. What do you think will be the biggest challenges in the time to come?
Giovanna Mingarelli, Canada
- It has been very well received and I think it is reflected in the support we have. Canada needs Global Dignity.
- Dignity Day last year was a very inclusive one. We held a video conference in which we reached people from all over the country.
- The biggest challenge will be to reach more people. This is especially a challenge in large countries with many remote areas.
Sandro Salsano, Panama
- Last year was the first with Global Dignity in Panama. The concept has been well received on all levels. Working with these projects, you receive so much more than what you give.
- I like things like this – getting together and finding out how we can get better. We want to reach out to 100 countries and that is what we are working on.
- A challenge is to expand the network of volunteers and the coordination of our work. It is an ongoing process.
Iman Usman, Indonesia
- It has been going well. Indonesian people love to share and we need the channels like Global Dignity.
- I am new in this society and I have been well received in the group. There is a good energy here and the campaign has been going well so far.
- A challenge is to find new ways to measure how far we have come, not only by asking how many people we have reached. And when we get more information from every country on the webpage, it will be easier to learn from each other.
Amir Shihadeh, Jordan
- It has been phenomenal. We have gotten into this non-formal way of education through workshops and other things. It is working out great.
- I like that everyone has a way of defining dignity – and everyone is right.
- I don’t see it as challenges. After ten years, we are more ready to deal with challenges that may come. We are more structured, more focused, we have new country chairs and the New York office will be great. We are ready to show the world who we are.
Above: Global Dignity gathered its Country Chairs and partners for the annual summit in Oslo. Photo: Global Dignity/Christian Laagard