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  • March 24, 2024

    My commitment to the Human Rights cause 

    Although there are different approaches to human rights and lots of stories to be told, my personal view is that every person has unique characteristics, whether they are physical or psychological. In addition, we all have specific contexts we come from, our country of origin, culture, language, religion, or other beliefs. Therefore, respecting them and acknowledging that all individuals have an underlying dignity, regardless these differences, is crucial to understand what human rights are. Only from this premise it is possible to demand a fair and equal treatment for all members within a community. Otherwise, people might be subject to all kinds of abuses.  

    In my personal experience, I had to struggle with racial discrimination from a very early age, when at school I was bullied because of the color of my skin. Growing up in Latin America was a hard experience in terms of understanding and accepting who I am, in the middle of a colonialist and racist culture. Additionally, I am the father of an autistic kid.  This has definitely shaped my life in the last ten years. Since he was three years old, as a family, we began looking for inclusive educational support for him in our home country, Ecuador. After being rejected by different schools we went for the home-schooling system, which was helpful, but it implied limitations due to the lack of social interactions. That is when we decided to migrate to Canada.  

    The path I chose was the joint master’s degree in Peace and Conflicts Studies at University of Manitoba. I went for it because it was quite aligned with my previous professional activity as professor in the Communication career, at Salesian University, in Quito. Actually, two of my favorite courses were Communication for Peace and Conflict Management. That is where my involvement to the cause of human rights became stronger.  

    Through this journey I have learned several lessons. The most remarkable for me is that people have different issues to deal with in terms of making their rights be respected. Being part of a community is a better way to find support and advocate for changes. I joined MARL not only to complete my program practicum requirement but also due to its commitment to creating awareness about rights, especially among the youths, in the complex world we are living in. Additionally, it is a path to linking my passion for writing with the activism for peace I would like to keep pursuing in both my professional and personal life.  

    Nicolas Dousdebes 

    March, 2024 

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