Equality for All – A collection of stories from Africa
Equality is a fundamental human right for all to enjoy. It has been given special importance in the UN Human Rights Charter and is present in the Sustainable Development goals with regards to access to education, clean water, health and socio-economic growth. The term ‘equality’ blankets a lot of the basic principles needed in global communities.
Lighthouse is a non-profit media publication that aims to connect the dots across cultures through diverse, inclusive and powerful narratives. Through stories, interviews, videos and podcasts, it provide a platform for citizens of the world, to open minds and spark change through their experiences and lessons. As the parent organization for Lighthouse, the Melton Foundation provides funding, new avenues for collaboration, outreach and engagement for its campaigns. Melton Fellows and community members also participate as guests and supporters for Lighthouse campaigns, enabling the organization to make their projects and campaigns a reality.
‘Equality for All’, a campaign undertaken by Lighthouse Africa brings to light the voices of hope and inspiration from the youth of the African subcontinent. The series of curated stories brings together those changemakers who wish to see true progress in their communities for all aspects of equality: socio-economic, gender-based, political, generational, and more! To get a pulse of the underlying message, read this short story from one of the stories in the campaign, titled ‘The Shopkeeper and other Stakeholders’ :
Like other prejudices, gender bias can be subtle, so much so that you may fail to notice. You may fail to notice, for example, that the shopkeeper swiftly turns their attention from you to a new male customer, leaving you standing there awkwardly. Or that your male colleague quickly ignores you the minute another male colleague rolls up to ask for a favor. Ultimately, it is these ways that we are overlooked that alter how we see ourselves.
Equality for All brings audiences a chance to delve into the mindsets of the younger generation first hand and hear their side of the narrative. :
- What does equality mean to them?
- How would they like to see equal growth in their society and what drives them to keep working for a better tomorrow?
Dr. Steffen Bethmann, Executive Director, Melton Foundation, underlines the significance of the campaign :
“The Melton Foundation aims to empower, connect and transform people to become true Global Citizens. This means that they are aware of what is going on around them and the wider context, that they develop a sense of responsibility for the planet and its people, as well as to actively participate in the societal transformation towards a more equitable, sustainable, and peaceful world. One way of doing so is through the power of stories. There are endless possibilities of turning words into phrases. To develop stories, short or long, that express hopes and aspirations and let us feel the underlying struggles for more equality is art. The team at Lighthouse masters this art by taking us on an emotional journey where few words can capture the whole world. I invite you to reserve some calm minutes to listen, read, watch, and let the power of these stories touch you. Maybe they even trigger a feeling of responsibility and action in you!”
Watch this short narration!
Ashitha Nayak, Melton Fellow and co-founder of Lighthouse, shares :
“Since our childhood, we’ve heard about ‘Equality of Opportunity’ as a must-have for global communities to thrive. But what happens when that equality is not a given, as a function of where we are born, our background, race, or gender? Or any other factor that is beyond our control? Equality is not only a fundamental human right, but also is a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. With our campaign, we travel across the majestic African subcontinent – one story at a time, we unravel the dire realities of socio-economic, gender, political, social, and other forms of inequality in the lives of the everyday people of Africa. Those of us at Lighthouse might not be experts on the matter, but we are allies in this movement, and we want to add our voice to the larger conversation around improving access and leveling the playing field across the globe.”
Comprising videos, short stories, poetic creations and narrations of hope, ‘Equality for All’ is a collection of experiences, memories and lessons that echo from the African continent with a message! Get a glimpse of the campaign by reading this short poem that conveys the aspiration of a more equitable society :
In the spirit of our motherland, Africa
Has taught us to always embrace others
As it has always embraced each one of us,
No matter who we are,
Before our beloved motherland we are
And yet time and time again
Our women have been treated
As the lesser beings of our species
Men have taken away their voices
Our women have been reduced to appendages
And mere shadows of men
Through their domination, men
Have made important decisions on behalf of women
What really matters?
Equality for all!
Men and women, all alike are equal
And in the spirit of our motherland, Africa
What defines our humanity is our human dignity;
An intrinsic, inalienable and inviolable human value
That everyone is born with
That is what makes us Human!
That is what makes us Equal.
But ‘Equality for All’ does not stop at the written art. Watch this short visual below to get another perspective on equality, or the lack thereof, and its consequences :
Inequality by Wistful Wanderer
At the Melton Foundation, we strongly support initiatives and projects that advance the SDGs and the ethos enshrined in Global Citizenship. ‘Equality for All’ by Lighthouse is a memorable step forward in this regard as we continue to uphold the principles of equality for human beings across regions and cultures!