Amnesty at Paris 13 University is truly international ! A Canadian student’s message

IMG_2147_2For a change, this article will be in English !

Lisa Merkowsky, a Canadian student in the Master’s in Corporate Communication at Paris 13 University, accepted to give her testimony on how she feels about the « Amnesty student group » experience after the first meeting of the year 2013 !

Happy New Year to all!

Today Amnesty International’s AJ group was back after the holidays for another inspiring meeting.

If your memory needs refreshing, AJ (Antenne Jeunes) is the name for volunteer youth group on the Paris 13 university campus, created at the initiative of Cécile Coudriou, VP of Amnesty France. And of course in France, January + social gathering = galette des rois, an equation that we all enjoyed along with our discussions.IMG_2207

On the agenda today: what issues and events to get involved in this upcoming spring season with Amnesty AJ. So many important and pressing issues around the globe to choose from, we considered forced evictions, child soldiers, the death penalty  and the arms treaty that will be debated again at the UN in March 2013…

Not easy to savor the galette with such heavy thoughts for the accompanying discussion. The fact is, when I think of other world citizens facing such shocking violations of their human rights, I feel frustrated and powerless to help.

One day, during a mission for causes including torture, wrongful imprisonment and execution, I asked Ms. Coudriou: “How do you keep such a positive and upbeat manner when you are continually dealing with issues concerning horrible things happening in the world? How do you not become depressed?” Her answer has a way of sticking with me: “the only way I would be depressed, she said, is if I were doing nothing about it.”

How about this for a New Year’s resolution: in 2013, let’s join forces to “do something about it!”

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