Christopher

Before I was in the MMSY program, I wasn't really doing anything for most of the summer. I had been trying to get a job but most of the places in my neighborhood weren't really in a position to hire inexperienced people, which I was as I have never worked in my life. So, for most of my summer, I was usually going on the computer to websites like YouTube and Facebook. Then, about 2 weeks before I came to the program, my mother told me about this program that she had learned of through Jason's mother and told me that it would be a good learning experience and that it would look good on a resume.

Initially, I didn't want to do it because I would have to wake up early and go into the city and I would not get to hang out with my friends for two weeks, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there really wasn't any good enough reason for me not to go so I met with Mahroo for an interview to assess me and to see if I really wanted to do the program and to make sure that I would always try to be there on time everyday and that I would arrive ready to start the day with vigor. After the interview, she told me to go home and think about and to see if I absolutely wanted to do the program, and if I decided that I did, to call her back and let her know so that I would be in. And that's how I got into the MMSY program.

What I learned from the MMSY program was not to judge people based on creed, color, race or religion. I learned of tolerance for all people and how prejudice is poisoning the world and needs to stop. I also learned that words can heal, inspire, rally, and raise hope from the darkest depths. I also learned that words can incite hatred, destroy people, and break others down. It all depends on who uses these words and in what context they are used. I also learned a lot about the other people in the program, i.e., where they were from, what their backgrounds were, what they ate in their culture. In fact, one day of the program, we all decided to bring in a different food item from our culture for everyone else to sample and see what it was like in other cultures.

Another day, we visited three separate places of worship from three major religions: a Christian church, a Jewish synagogue, and an Islamic mosque. At these three places, we learned a lot about the religion that was practiced there. I felt this to be extremely insightful as I had never entered into a synagogue or a mosque and hadn't really learned a lot about them or the religions worshipped in them. On that day, I discovered that, for example, in a synagogue they don't have pictures of people as they feel it might lead to false idol worship. They only have pictures of animals and food. In mosques, they have no pictures and no chairs. The only thing in them is tapestries and people praying. One day a week, the imam, leader of the mosque, will give a sermon to the parishioners. There are no masses. They are solely intended for the use of prayer, and most of the time, that's all you will see in them. I felt like I learned a tremendous amount from the MMSY program and hope to put the information learned to good use.

The mission of the MMSY program was to uphold the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I was so inspired to know it all, that I studied the entire declaration during the first week of the program. I even received a prize for knowing the articles by heart. I will try to implement what I have learned by joining clubs and joining in other outside activities, like Stand Up, for example. Events like this can significantly help people learn about the problems that the United Nations faces every day trying to get people interested in them. Too many people don't know how bad situations in other countries in other countries have gotten; or worse, they do know and choose to do nothing about, or they say "someone else can worry about it." The problem here is that if everyone adopts this kind of an attitude, eventually, there"ll be no one left to do anything; they will all think that someone else is going to clean up the mess. Well, the truth is that we have to stop this charade. We have to do something about it and if we don"t, the problem doesn"t go away; it just grows and gets worse.

 

 

ALL human beings are born FREE and EQUAL in dignity and rights. 

-Universal Declaration of Human Rights