In December three sessions on human rights were conducted by a volunteer of Amnesty International, Dr. Rui Palma, at two schools of our Amalgamation. One of them, which was held at the auditorium of Escola Básica Integrada da Quinta Nova da Telha, took place on Human Rights Day, the 10th December. The other two were conducted at the library of Escola Secundária de Casquilhos two days later, that is to say, on the 12th December.

As two of the sessions were aimed at 9th graders, who did not have much knowledge of the content of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights yet, they focused on its most important articles and the importance of promoting and protecting the rights of all. Only people who understand human rights will work to secure and defend them for themselves and the others.

The third session was aimed at 12th graders, a completely different target group; hence a more specific issue was addressed: Women’s Rights. The purpose was to increase the participants' awareness of the serious and multiple violations of the rights of women that still exist in the world today, one of them being female genital mutilation, which deeply impressed our students.

These three sessions not only allowed our students to have a more profound awareness and understanding of human rights, but also provided a deeper knowledge of the important role that Amnesty International has had in the fight for human rights across the globe in the last 54 years. They are now definitely aware of its ground-breaking achievements, as well as of its actual campaigns to fulfil its ultimate goal: to ensure that every person enjoys all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.

When asked about the impact of these sessions on them, students unanimously stated that they were an important step towards a wider understanding and conscious commitment to the fundamental values of human rights and the recognition of problems such as racism, sexism, and other injustices as violations of those values.

The success of this initiative would not have been possible without the inestimable collaboration of the libraries of our School Amalgamation. Thank you so much for your effort and commitment!