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The inaugural Human Rights Festival held at Constitution Hill from 23-25 March used the hashtag #WhatDoYouStandFor to encourage visitors to think about the contributions they make towards nation building and social cohesion.

#WhatDoYouStandFor? – it’s an important question for us all to wrestle with. It gave me cause to reflect on FunDza and to think about #WhatWeStandFor. Here are some of my thoughts…

We stand for growing a literate, reading, writing, thinking nation
Literacy is not simply the ability to decode text and make basic meaning from symbols, rather it is the basis for lifelong learning that can unlock a world of information and knowledge. Through literacy and reading one can develop a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world in which we live. Literacy encourages critical thinking and helps develop creative problem-solving skills.

We stand for an empowered youth that has a strong voice
Literacy empowers people by giving them access to words, thoughts and ideas that helps them to challenge the status quo, to hold power to account, to argue with passion and logic, and to mobilise with passion and purpose.

We stand for multiculturalism and multilingualism
We want all young people to feel comfortable in their own skins, to feel that their lived reality is recognised, valid and valuable, and to feel that their language and their own unique voice is powerful and legitimate.

We stand for diversity
We recognise and celebrate the importance of all the voices within our FunDza community, no matter the gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, cultural group or age. We believe that this diversity of voice and talent is what makes our platforms and spaces dynamic, interesting and engaging. We believe that this diversity encourages open-mindedness, a spirit of inclusivity and respect for others.

We stand for the principles of equality and human dignity
We want our work and our stories to promote tolerance, deepen understanding, stimulate curiosity and build respect.

Tell us – #WhatDoYouStandFor?