NGC’s Program Coordinator Maggie Broderick shares her evolved definition of global citizenship.
Global citizens have the ability and desire to champion causes that are universal, problems that every community faces and handles in their own way. Global citizens fight for equality and compassionate treatment of the most vulnerable populations. Global citizens are motivated to prove that change can, in fact, be created by one person.
Every person has the capacity to be a global citizen. We all have at least one cause that drives us to develop sustainable, positive solutions for our world. Can you imagine what our world would be like if we all dedicated time to improving the conditions of our peers in our local and global communities?
For me, I am continuously driven to ensure access to people with disabilities. These individuals deserve equal access to a rich education and fulfilling, life-long employment. As I have traveled around the world, I have been amazed at the similar challenges facing people with disabilities.
In some countries, simple tasks such as traveling on public sidewalks are near impossible for people with physical disabilities; thus, many of those individuals end up homebound. In others, people with disabilities are not given the opportunity to receive an education with their peers or even one at all.
Disabilities are even seen as an illness that can be “caught” if others spend time with the “inflicted.”
Therefore, people with disabilities frequently are unable to socialize with others outside of their home, and as a result, a large part of our global population does not have the opportunity to form personal relationships with people with disabilities. These individuals deserve better.
I will not solely be able to alter the societal structures that thwart the advancement of people with disabilities, but I can do my part to advocate on behalf of and with this population. I can champion and volunteer at incredible organizations like Best Buddies, Special Olympics, SAARC, and Foundation for People with Disabilities (an NGC Global Project). I can also educate others on the injustices that people with disabilities still face abroad and in the United States.
I will be a global citizen as I work to provide access for all people with disabilities. What cause will drive you to be a global citizen? How will you provide solutions to our ever changing global society?