Get students to give something up for Human Rights day

10th December 2014 at 06:00

Today is Human Rights Day, so it is the perfect opportunity to introduce your class to Amnesty International's Give It Up campaign. Below, Amnesty UK community fundraising coordinator Richard Glynn explains all.

We wanted to launch a fundraising product around the theme of giving something up after a supporter raised £5,000 by being sponsored to give up drinking alcohol for a year. We thought there was a lot of potential in encouraging other supporters to do the same, linking it to the theme of people who are forced to give up rights that we take for granted. Just as I was thinking about how we might develop this idea, I saw Ashford School's entry to the 2014 Youth Awards (the 2015 Awards close for entries on 30 January) and thought, "That's it!".

The Kent school's "Dare to be Different" day impressed us because it encouraged students to think about human rights and the impact they have on their own lives. By giving up a right for the day they were able to understand the importance of human rights and educate their friends about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its role in the world. They managed to do this in a creative, fun way that even appealed to young people who weren't active Amnesty supporters. The event also raised well over a thousand pounds, which was extremely impressive.

The final Amnesty product, Give It Up, had a different name, but was very similar. Many of our Amnesty youth groups are organising Give it Up days on Human Rights Day and others have plans to organise a day some time next year. I'm really excited to see their take on the idea.

We really hope schools get involved, so here's a brief guide to help your students embrace the challenge:

What can you quit?
It can be anything you enjoy and would find it hard to live without. Have a think about your day-to-day luxuries: alcohol, chocolate, coffee, smoking, TV, Facebook, ready meals and so on.

How long for?
The choice is yours! How long will make it a real challenge? A month? A year? Something in-between?

How much can you contribute to human rights?
Set yourself a fundraising target.

Set up a JustGiving page
It's an easy way for contacts to donate online – plus you can pay in your funds raised offline to keep the total up to date. And you can claim Gift Aid on it.

How to keep your donors in the loop
Let your sponsors know how your challenge is going – and encourage more contacts to donate in the process. As long as you haven't given up social media, platforms like Facebook or Twitter are handy for this. You can also update your progress on JustGiving, or if you're feeling creative, you could set up a blog.

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