Anbei das Manuskript unserer Ansprache an die Kinder zum 20-jährigen Jubiläum.
PINA & DIRK:
Dear guests, children and parents. How is everybody doing today?
I’m here with my loved one, Aunty Pina and I’m glad you all could join us today, even so far away as Hyderabad.
No matter what class you are in, some of you are probably wishing it is already vacation time.
When I was young, my family lived in Italy, and because my parents had to work very hard, I had to take care about my younger sister and bothers.
So I did not had the time do to my home work during the day, sometimes I did it at night or very early in the morning.
I was not too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I would fall asleep right there at the kitchen table.
But whenever I did complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, “This is no picnic for me either, Pina.”
But I’m here today because I have something important to tell you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what is expected of all of you.
Now we have given here in the past already a few speeches about education and talked about responsibility.
We have talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done.
But at the end of the day, you can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities.
Unless you show up at schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents, other adults and the one in charge of 1×1 for India; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that is what we want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. We want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
Every single one of you has something you are good at. Every single one of you has something to offer.
And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That is the opportunity an education can provide.
Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your class.
Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with a new medicine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class.
And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you will need an education to do it.
You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect or a lawyer?
You are going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can not drop out of school and just drop into a good job.
You have got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.
And this is not just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country.
You will need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and to develop new technologies and protect our environment.
You will need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make your nation more fair and more free.
You will need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes.
If you quit on school – you are not just quitting on yourself, you are quitting on your family aswell.
We know it is not always easy to do well in school. We know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.
I know what that is like. My father died when I was 11 years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and was not always able to give us things the other kids had.
There were times when I missed having a father in my life and there were times when I was lonely.
So I was not always as focused as I should have been and my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.
But I was fortunate and had the opportunity to go to college and nursing school, and follow my dreams.
Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there is not enough money to go around.
But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that is no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude.
That is no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That is no excuse for not trying.
Where you are right now does not have to determine where you will end up. No one has written your destiny for you. You write your own destiny and you make your own future.
That is what young people like you are doing every day, all across the World.
Young people like Pallavi, which is now a lawyer, Mubeentaz which has a Bachelor of Arts, or Rajesh who finishes soon his Master of science and many others we support didn’t speak English when they first started school.
Many of the parents of our children did not went to college. But the childrens worked hard, earned good grades and got a scholarship.
That is why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them.
Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework and paying attention in class. Or giving back something to the others and follow the rules we have set, show your marks on a regular base to Sister Lumina and pick up your uniform and clothes in the tailoring center by Eliza.
Maybe you will decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn.
We want you to really work at it.
I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work — but we know from ourselfes how difficult it is for example to collect all the monies we need to support you.
But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t like every teacher.
Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
That is OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who have had the most failures.
These people succeeded because they understand that you can not let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you.
You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that does not mean you are a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave.
If you get a bad grade, that does not mean you are stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.
No one is born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work.
You do not hit every note the first time you sing a song. You have got to practice. It is the same with your schoolwork.
You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new.
So find an adult you trust – a parent, a grandparent or teacher– and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.
We know it is sometimes not easy to find the right adult person to approach when you have a problem.
Therefore we would like to appoint 3 independent children representatives.
Pallavi, Mubeentaz and Jenipher. Please, may I ask you to come to the stage.
When ever you feel, you can contact one of them and they will forward it to us.
And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself, as there is always a solution
The story of India is not about people who quit when things got tough. It is about people who kept going, who tried harder, to do anything less than their best.
So today, I want to ask you, what is your contribution going to be?
Your families, your teachers, and 1×1 for India are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need.
We are working hard to help you, paying your school fees, get you the books and the uniforms, the medication and even food when you need it.
But you have got to do your part too. So we expect you to get serious and stick to the rules we have set.
We expect you to put your best effort into everything you do.
We expect great things from each of you. So do not let us down – don’t let your family or yourself down.
Make us all proud. We know you can do it!
Herewith we want to thank Sr. Lumina and all the sisters who have worked for 1×1 for India in the past, for their support and last but not least Eliza our good soul from the tailoring center who has worked for 20 years for us.
PINA & DIRK
Thank you and God bless you all.