International Volunteer Day: Fiorella Cerchiara, Making Human Rights a Fact

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Throughout the month of December, in honor of International Volunteer Day, December 5, the Church of Scientology International is honoring individuals whose work is making this world a better place. One such volunteer is Fiorella Cerchiara, President of the Association for Human Rights and Tolerance of Italy.

Fiorella Cerchiara, President of the Association for Human Rights and Tolerance, in Togo in November 2014 as part of her Africa human rights education initiative.

The biggest right there is, is not the right to vote, is not the right to freedom of speech or press or religion or anything else. The biggest right there is in human rights is the right to help.

Human rights is the passion of Fiorella Cerchiara, President of the Association for Human Rights and Tolerance of Italy, a passion she is extending to youth to whom human rights has been virtually unknown.

With the Association’s annual United for Africa concert December 5, organized in conjunction with the Church of Scientology of Milan, Cerchiara is raising funds for human rights education in Togo, the Congo and other African nations.

She recently returned to Italy from a November Africa Human Rights Educational Tour where she trained 90 educators in the Congo and 300 in Togo on the human rights curriculum developed by United for Human Rights, a human rights initiative supported by the Church of Scientology.

Her work in Africa began in 2007 when she and her association were asked to help provide schools for children in Ghana who would otherwise be denied the right to education. She visited several remote Ghana villages as part of the initial planning for this project.

Although they were living in poverty, the people of these villages did not ask for food or clothing for their families. “They only asked for help to be able to study,” says Cerchiara. “So we said, ‘Okay, we’ll give you schools and school supplies.’”

The Association for Human Rights and Tolerance of Italy and the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology of Milan have since raised the funds and seen to the construction of three schools in that country.

Traveling through Ghana and neighboring countries, Cerchiara was struck by the need to raise awareness of human rights. This experience led her to incorporate human rights education into each of her African tours.

Her goal to promote human rights awareness extends to any country where these rights are denied or at risk.

Cerchiara is featured in the November 2014 edition of Freedom Magazine. The story “Tibet’s Long Journey to Freedom” reports on her work to provide human rights education to Tibetan children living in exile in India.

Wherever she brings her program, she finds people of goodwill in organizations, churches, schools and government bodies. “Working together, we are making a difference,” she says. Because changing the world is a big job, but we can. Together.

International Volunteer Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985 to “promote activities to stimulate greater awareness of the contribution” of the work of volunteers.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has described volunteerism as “a two-way street. Even as volunteers help generate positive change for others, their own lives are often transformed by the act of volunteering itself.”

The Church of Scientology International recognizes the many thousands of Scientologists and men, women and children of other faiths who partner with us in working to create a better world.

Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “The biggest right there is, is not the right to vote, is not the right to freedom of speech or press or religion or anything else. The biggest right there is in human rights is the right to help.”

For more information on the volunteer humanitarian initiatives sponsored by the Church of Scientology, or to order a copy of the new brochure, Voice for Humanity—Real People, Real Help, visit the Scientology website.

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Luis Gonzalez
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