|Florist in Zoetermeer|
Our students, a party of year 10s and a couple of sixth formers, joined in the conference enthusiastically after getting over initial shyness. They each represented a different country and they helped draft resolutions on human rights issues and then debated and voted on these. I was very proud of them - these were girls of all abilities (and one boy) - yet they all contributed. As the Secretary General ( a sixth former from Alfrink College) said, the conference won't change the world, but it did change those who took part.
We also visited The Hague, which proved to be a more attractive city than I'd realised with a historic centre and many beautiful buildings. While we were there, we went to Humanity House, a museum owned by the Red Cross which promotes human rights issues. There we heard a speaker from the Democratic Republic of Congo talk (in French again) about his experiences as a human rights activist there and how he was lucky to escape with his life. He and another speaker from Kenya reminded the 'delegates' at the conference that they were the 'happy' 5% and that most people in the world don't have the same rights and privileges as we do.
On our final day we squeezed in a short visit to Amsterdam en route to the airport. Some of the students very excited about this because it's the setting for some of the novel 'The Fault in our Stars'. We had a walk around and looked at Anne Frank's house from the outside. Queue very long and we hadn't booked. But it was a fitting ending to our trip, seeing the house of a girl their age who was treated in such an inhumane way.
Next year my daughter will be in the year 10 and will, I hope, get the chance to go on this trip. It was a real education for those involved.