Christina Lee holds a Phillipa Weeks Scholarship in Law and has just completed her first year at the ANU. Over the coming months and years, Christina will share stories of her journey as a law student and a dedicated volunteer to human rights and international children’s welfare foundations.
Last year, I went on a life-changing trip to Nepal because of my passion in human rights. I volunteered in a remote village, called Batase, across from the Himalayas. Since 2012, I have been fundraising and volunteering for the charity (Friends of Himalayan Children) that supports the village from Cairns.
It was an absolutely phenomenal experience to finally see the village, and the people I met there were the most beautiful human beings. But behind their smiles, they had traumatic scars. The girls, their sisters and mothers are human trafficked to India with the false promise of hope.
From that moment on, I decided that I will give everything I have into anything I can to eliminate injustice such as modern slavery in our international communities through education. As I strongly believe that education is a key tool for emancipation and development.
After I returned from Nepal, I contacted Libraries Without Borders (LWB) in Paris. This NGO believes that libraries are places where the poorest and most underserved people can broaden their horizons, transform their lives and build social capital. Since 2007, over 2 million people have benefited from LWB’s programs. However, they have not started any projects in Nepal, so I sent a proposal to build a library in Batase Village which lacks access to information – a fundamental human right.
They have accepted my offer and I have been invited to volunteer as an intern for a month in Paris!
LWB has various incredible projects, however, I am most determined to deploy an ‘Ideas Box’ to the village. The Ideas Box, is a portable media centre set up in less than 20 minutes created by the LWB. With a satellite internet connection it provides tablets, books in paper and electronic formats, and a mobile cinema to empower children and adults and connect the most remote villages and refugee camps to the rest of the world.
I will return to Batase village in December 2018 with 15 ANU Students. Our team is called 'ANU Take On Nepal', and so far we have 8 people on our team! We are planning various projects at the moment, and this library initiative is just one of many.
I am so incredibly grateful that I have been given this opportunity to not only pursue my passion, but to continue playing a part in developing the village, where my heart is.
Batase Village changed my life, and I believe we have the obligation to give them the opportunities to change theirs. Batase is extremely underprivileged, but the people are overflowing with joy, happiness and potential. I used to exclaim that somewhere in the world, there is some boy or girl, and that some boy or girl has a dream. That some dream can only come true if some day somebody decides to stand up and speak up and do something. I believe that somebody can be anyone. You. Me. Us. Now it is no longer just some boy or girl somewhere in the world. I know these people now. I know their names, their faces, their stories and their dreams. From getting to know them, holding them tightly in my arms, and looking into their beautiful eyes has reaffirmed me that we have the power, we have the potential to make their dreams come true.
It is possible.
It is worth it.
Check out Christina’s Vlog from her 2016 trip to Nepal.