12 October 2007

Stand up and speak out! by Clayton Mercieca, secretariat - National Platform of Maltese NGDOs, Msida. (Times of Malta, October 12, 2007)

The National Platform of Maltese NGDOs (the Platform) is making an appeal to all organisations/ institutions and social groups including families to perform a one-minute stand-up on October 16 and 17 as a sign of urgency to eliminate further violation of human rights and extreme poverty around the world.

Ever since 1992, the United Nations officially recognised October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. One of the main aims of this commemoration is to make the voice of those who live in poverty and those who are oppressed heard.

History taught us a valuable lesson. When single individuals stood up and made themselves heard, they were able to change the course of mankind. Jesus Christ, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa were amongst those people who spoke on behalf of the oppressed. Nowadays we are able to witness large movements following the example of the aforementioned individuals.

As a sign of solidarity towards those who live in poverty and oppression and cannot speak, a world wide initiative is taking place on October 16 and 17. "Stand Up and Speak Out" is the growing movement of people no longer prepared to stay seated or silent in the face of poverty and inequality.

The Platform is asking the collaboration of schools, governmental and non-governmental organisations and firms in the private sector to spare one minute and literally stand-up as a group. Following this, they are asked to text the number of people who performed the stand-up and the name of the organisation/group to 7984 2015 on the mentioned dates or e-mail their message and details including a photo or video (if possible) to standupmalta@gmail.com.

The texts and e-mails of stand-ups will be exhibited during the first Maltese Millennium Development Goal Conference which will be held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta on Wednesday, October 17 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., for which the public is free to attend and participate against no admission/participation fees. These correspondences will then be forwarded to the international movement www.standagainstpoverty.org and will be added with all other correspondence around the world to break the Guinness World Record of stand-ups.

Help us break the world record so we can break the record of broken promises!

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