All that separates a Red Deer College student from the less fortunate is the loss of a few weeks income.
That’s why Logan Garbanewski feels compassionate toward those who are in need. As a worker who is often downtown for his late-night shifts, he says he comes face to face with various human rights issues every day.
“We need to be more compassionate towards our fellow Red Deerians, who are just less fortunate. What separates me from them is a couple of missed paycheques,” he said Tuesday at the inaugural Youth Human Rights Champions conference at the Northside Community Centre.
“I’m in no place to judge. I’m only in a place to help out, and that’s all we should all do.
“There are empty homes, yet homeless people. There’s food that gets thrown away, yet people go hungry,” he said, referring to the issues he sees first hand.
Garbanewski is co-chair of the Human Rights Day committee in the city. The group, along with the Central Alberta Refugee Effort, hosted the event, which was registered by about 170 high school students.
Human Rights Day is observed every year on Dec. 10 as a commemoration of the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Garbanewski hopes the conference inspires high school students to become human rights advocates.
“We want to educate and empower students to become human rights champions. They’re our future business owners, future politicians, they’re the future leaders of our community,” he explained.
“We want to give them the tools to make that future happen.”
The issues discussed at the conference included education as a basic human right, the right to food and matters that touch Garbanewski closely – freedom, equality and respect.
“We see racism and discrimination, and that right there is breaking a human right that we all deserve,” he said.