”Dignity is our inherent value and worth as human beings; everyone is born with it.”
In this world increasingly divided by mistrust and hate, dignity for each other and ourselves is getting sacrificed. The most fundamental and human thing about all of us is our dignity. As a matter of fact, United Nations acknowledges this in the preamble for Human Rights.
At the 2006 World Economic Forum, three Young Global Leaders (YGLs) sought to better understand the root cause of the violence, intolerance and injustice in our world. Their conclusion: a fundamental lack of dignity and recognition of our shared humanity. They came to the realization that the lack of a real understanding of the concept of dignity and the recognition of our shared humanity is at the heart of so much conflict and polarization.
Determined to unite more people in the belief that everyone deserves to live a life of dignity, these young leaders — Crown Prince Haakon of Norway; John Bryant, CEO and Founder of Operation HOPE; and Pekka Himanen, author, professor and advisor to the former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari — launched Global Dignity with a workshop in one small classroom in Switzerland. Bishop Desmond Tutu and RIchard Branson joined the school visit, and were so moved by the experience, that both signed on as members of the new “Honorary Board” and Global Dignity was founded.
Global Dignity has since grown to a 70-nation-strong network of volunteer educators, civil society and business leaders, working to strengthen dignity-based values among young people in their communities. Through its annual Global Dignity Day in October and in year-round Dignity Workshops, Global Dignity reached a record 680,000 young people in 2017.
On auspicious occasion of India’s Independence Day, I am excited to start my association with Global dignity as Country Chair for India.
Global Dignity engages young people in understanding the values and principles behind what “dignity” means and aims to inspire the next generation to address the major challenges of our time by making positive change in their own communities.
The organization’s work is guided by a simple set of principles—that every person:
1. Has the right to pursue their purpose and meaning in life, and to reach their full potential.
2. Deserves to live in societies that provide humane access to education, health, income and security.
3. Should have their life, identity and beliefs respected by others.
4. Has the responsibility to create the conditions for others to fulfill their potential, acting to strengthen the dignity of others, building a foundation of freedom, justice and peace for this – and future generations.
5. Can put dignity into action by standing up against injustice, intolerance and inequality.
Apart from promoting dignity throughout India on a national level, Global Dignity India will also be recognizing young people around the country as Global Dignity Fellows who will become ambassadors of Global Dignity India and embody the core values of Global Dignity by living, practicing and teaching dignity to visiting schools and others organisations in their community.
To get involved and support Global Dignity India, or to know more, visit
www.globaldignity.org/india or email firstname.lastname@example.org