There are many diplomatic failures in the history when the educated adults and diplomats were only helpless puppets or sometimes they were who caused catastrophic events. At the same time some brave little adolescent became characters of historic turning-points and also showed good example for the next generations.
Samantha Reed Smith
In 1982 Samantha, the 10 years-old American school girl wrote a letter to Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov, the Secretary General of the Soviet Communist Party and she asked an explaination about the cause of tensions between the two superpowers. This period was the most chaotic years of the cold war. Her unusual letter published in the Pravda on April 12, in 1983.
“Dear Mr. Andropov, My name is Samantha Smith. I am ten years old. Congratulations on your new job. I have been worrying about Russia and the United States getting into a nuclear war. Are you going to vote to have a war or not? If you aren’t please tell me how you are going to help to not have a war. This question you do not have to answer, but I would like to know why you want to conquer the world or at least our country. God made the world for us to live together in peace and not to fight.”
After this Samantha sent a letter to the Soviet ambassador in the USA as well. Andropov replied to the letter and invited her to the Soviet Union, Samantha accepted the invitation. This visit got huge media attention, Samantha was called the Youngest American Ambassador or the Goodwill Ambassador. The smart little girl talked with the best know politicans, she gave interviews and she wrote a book about her Russia journey. Even in the same year in December she was invited to Japan where she met with the prime minister and she kept a speech the city of Kobe Children’s International Symposium. Samantha celebrated by people but she got many attacked as well. But it is indisputable that she did a lot own way for approach of the opposing countries. Probably she would have been a great diplomat, but in 1985 she dead in a tragic air-crash.
The young boy became the icon of the 1976′s South African bloody events. In this picture Mbuyisa Makhubo tried to rescued the 13 years old shot down Hector in his arms from the shower of bullets. The boy was shot by a police officer when the gunmen opened fire to defenseless teenage students on the revolutionary protest march. In Johannesburg’s largest black-quarters students protested against the Afrikaans language compulsory school education. The action which had 566 deadly victims started protesting reactions in the whole country, which eventually led to the downfall of the system. The photo about Hector’s senseless death is still the eternal symbol of resistance to an oppressive system and human brutality. This tragic day became a national celebration in South Africa and there is a memorial museum named after Hector Pieterson, not far from the place where the fatal shot killed him.
“I love knowing my rights and my responsibility as a child.”
The young Zambian girl in 2007 got the International Children’s Nobel Peace Prize. She was 8 years old when she obtained that the school in her village, Lusaka will work again. She and other 60 students couldn’t learn because there weren’t teachers. From this the young girl is still actively fighting for the education and other important issues, including the AIDS. She wrote a book this very serious problem specifically for African children and she explained the dangers of the AIDS in their language. She usually takes speeches at foreign universities and other international forums. In Africa she speaks in churches, which put many people to her side. In addition she is fighting for the human rights all around the world.
Written by Ilona Kaszanyi