We are all human before race, religion, politics, wealth and man-made borders, which separate us.

Lesedi is a young boy who is fortunate enough to have been born on the affluent side of life: a stable home, working parents, a good school and really cool friends. Lesedi’s school transport drives past an informal settlement daily. He pays attention and is shocked by how other people have to live their lives. They live in one-roomed structures made of corrugated iron, squeezed in together so that he can barely breathe just from looking at them, and this makes him wonder if anything can be done for them.

This question bugs Lesedi relentlessly and he cannot even think of anything else.

“Father, why are some people so poor and others so rich? Can’t we just share the wealth of the world equally so that we can all be happy?”

Lesedi’s father is intrigued by the question and a smile forms on his face. “Oh, Lesedi, my boy, you are so kind, but that’s not how the world works. Here you only get what you work for,” he says.

Lesedi is not satisfied by his answer but he nods and lets him be. He spends that entire afternoon educating himself about the inequalities and injustices of the world. He wants to bring change into this this world and is fully determined to at least try.

As luck would have it, the next day, Lesedi’s teacher tells the class about a competition where they have to present a speech of their choice, and the learner who does so excellently will represent young people at the opening of the next parliamentary sitting. Lesedi is excited about this opportunity as it is exactly what he was dreaming of: a chance to have his voice heard.

Ah, isn’t it great when fate just favours you? Days later, Lesedi is chosen as the learner who will represent young people in parliament and is working really hard on his speech. He cannot wait to have his thoughts heard and maybe, who knows, implemented.

Days pass by quickly and the fateful parliamentary sitting day is here. Wearing a beautiful blue tuxedo, Lesedi is very nervous, but he knows there is no way he is backing out. His teacher picks him up and drops him at the government offices. Everyone is dressed elegantly. They make their way into parliament and the matter of the day commences. Lesedi’s heart is pounding so hard and it gets worse as he is called up to come and render his speech.

He walks up to the microphone confidently and says, “Greetings to the house at large. My name is Lesedi Seabi. As I stand before you, I am not a happy person. I am saddened by all these divides that exist in our societies, so much that we do not realise just how much they are eating away at humanity. We are so desensitised to poverty, inequalities, injustices and crime that we have stopped doing anything.

I don’t understand how there are people who go to bed hungry when others have more than plenty. I don’t understand how there are people sleeping under bridges when others have unoccupied bedrooms in their houses. I don’t understand how there are people who are barely just surviving and we want to go on as if it is business as usual. Why? Why can’t we lend a helping hand? Why can’t those who have plenty at least try and give balance to the world? We are the ones who can bring the change we want to see in this world.

In conclusion, I would like to say, if we all work together, this place will be a better place. If we work together to eradicate poverty and its memory, we will definitely win. The legacy that people who are in power create is exactly the world that children of tomorrow will inherit. Dare to be the change and be a beacon of hope to people who have been suffering due to poverty, so that they can believe that there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel. I thank you.”

The entire hall erupted into applause as everyone gave Lesedi a standing ovation. What he was saying was true, the world is what we make of it and if we work together to change our ways where we have gone wrong, we are making our world a better place, not only for us, but for future generations. Let us hold hands and let poverty and suffering be a thing of the past. We are all human before race, religion, politics, wealth and man-made borders, which separate us.

Tell us: Do you agree that we can make the change we want to see?