Mother Mushroom and Vitalina

Activists around the world are taking enormous risks to stand up for our rights.

Our Words That Burn theme this year is Power and using power to help activists speak out.

We all have power – power to write poetry and messages in solidarity with people who have had their rights taken away, power to protest and demand that governments protect human rights activists. Using our power, we can make a difference.

Make a Difference in a Minute

Encourage your students to Make a Difference in a Minute and write poems in solidarity with Vitalina Koval who has been actively defending LGBTI rights and women’s rights in Ukraine, or Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh AKA Mother Mushroom, a prominent Vietnamese blogger and human rights defender.

Mother Mushroom

Vitalina Koval
 

Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh, better known by her pen name Mẹ Nấm (Mother Mushroom), was arrested in 2016 and sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2017 for ‘conducting propaganda’ against the State. She is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for using her right to free speech to promote and defend human rights.

Note that Mother Mushroom speaks English.

Take the Make a Difference in a Minute poetry challenge for Mother Mushroom.

Vitalina Koval

Mother Mushroom

Vitalina Koval is defending LGBTI rights and women’s rights in her hometown of Uzhgorod, Ukraine.

She became an activist and helped to establish an LGBTI community centre, which holds regular weekly meetings to discuss relevant issues and offers peer-to-peer support for LGBTI people.

Vitalina and her fellow activists face violence and threats from right-wing groups.

Note that Vitalina speaks English.

Take the Make a Difference in a Minute poetry challenge for Vitalina.