Yesterday was a great day. I attended the Sound Of Change concert at Twickenham Stadium and it was incredible. I was so excited because it meant that I finally got to see Beyoncé, as well as other great artists like Rita Ora and Florence and the Machine. What I didn’t count on though, was the incredible impact the event would have on me…
Beforehand I was aware that this was a charity event, but I really didn’t understand what I was going to be a part of. I was mostly interested in Beyoncé’s performance and hadn’t paid all that much attention to the reason why the event was being put on. However, as the event started I quickly became aware of its importance – it was a platform giving a voice to this vital community of people dedicated to promoting education, health and justice to women and girls everywhere. That community is Chime For Change.
Throughout the concert I was moved more by the videos showing the incredible work of the projects supported by Chime For Change, than I was by the star-studded performances. It was immediately important to me to listen to these messages, to understand that the basic human rights that I take for granted as a woman are not given to everyone, and to join the Chime For Change community to do whatever I can to make a difference.
One of the most special things about the event, for me at least, is that the money I paid for my ticket has been given back to me in the form of a gift voucher for Catapult. This means that no profit has been taken from ticket sales, and that I can choose exactly where I want my money to go. This way I know that I’m donating directly to a project in need of funding, and I can choose one which I am most passionate about.
I have chosen to donate to Educate Young Men on Gender and Sexuality. I believe that it is so important for young men to be taught about gender and sexuality, to be given the knowledge to stand against the root causes of commercial sexual exploitation, and to stand up for gender equality and equal rights. This project has resulted in the formation of the Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality organisation in Asia Pacific, and continues to fight for the welfare of girls and women.
I can’t begin to explain the impact that the Sound of Change concert has had on me. It’s made me want to change lives, to dedicate my time to helping others and to become a significant part of the Chime For Change community. Equality is important, and I want to help make it a reality.