blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A children's champion

Wikipedia photo of Haitian school girls
Landon Pearson, whom I heard speak at the event mentioned in my previous blog post, is "only 82 years old." She is known in Canada as the Senator for Children, having served in the Senate from 1994 to 2005. Mrs. Pearson has 5 children, and twelve grandchildren. She is the daughter-in-law of Lester Pearson, the Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Her father, she said, was her "most significant driver"––she had a privileged upbringing, growing up unaware of other people's struggles. She comments that one's education can be narrow and is always culturally biassed. Today however, the outside world penetrates more readily, so adolescents now see different male and female stereotypes.

Married to Lester Pearson's son Geoffrey, a diplomat, she lived in India for a while and got involved in educating poor children of migrant workers in India,setting up crĂȘches for them, for example on the construction site of the new Canadian High Commission in New Delhi.

As a delegate to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, September 1995 she advocated the right to an education free from discrimination. She insists that education must be based on a child's rights. Primary education should be compulsory and higher education accessible to all. The challenge of implementing this is more cultural than economic, the problems compounded by natural disasters. But in Haiti there is more schooling now than there was before the earthquake. Speaking of girls, in certain parts of the world, such as Niger, too much child marriage is still taking place.

Our job now, she said, speaking to a room full of grandmothers, is to support our idealistic grandchildren.

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