By: Catiyana Adam
On Friday, November 20th, well over a hundred CKSS students stopped speaking to stand in silent solidarity with the millions around the world who lack a voice. Dubbing themselves the ‘soldiers of silence,’ each student pledged to raise a minimum of $10 to remain quiet for the entire day. We Are Silent, Free the Children’s annual campaign, seeks to raise awareness about human rights issues by empowering every participant to make a statement…without speaking a word.
Each student signs up for the campaign by identifying an issue that touches them especially. The results were diverse, with choices spanning the refugee crisis in Syria and Europe to the mental health issues right here at home. The money raised by the students went towards the Food Safety and Agriculture Pillar in Gufubao, China.
It was one of the school’s most successful years, with Craig Kielburger’s visit the day before inspiring many to sign up the day of. This year’s We Are Silent also marked the beginning of a new CK custom. With music pulsing through the hallways, the stage was set for the powerful “March of Silence” to begin. This unique school-wide event allowed those participating in We Are Silent to put their issues on display for every class to see. YIA Minister, Tanzeela Rehman, described the March as a ‘powerful way to make your message known.’
While We Are Silent was a success, it was also a challenge for its participants. With the goal to remain completely silent for the entirety of the day, many found it a struggle to make it through even a few periods. “I had to break it at lunch,” said one student, “I’m just too social!” For those who managed to make it through the whole day, the result was both satisfying and rewarding. One student said, “I think there’s a certain sense of community when you lock eyes in the hall with someone else who’s silent. You read what they’re passionate and for many of them, it means displaying their heart on their sleeves – literally. That takes an incredible amount of courage, and so you all have a mutual feeling of respect for each other; you’re a team, an army, and you’re standing up for what you believe in.”