A Muslim teen’s prayer to elected leaders

“I’m praying that the newly elected leaders will put importance on climate change, education, and prioritizes the welfare of the children such as creating a safe place for us to play at all times,” Jhamira, 18, says.

Jhamira is a grade 12 Accountancy and Business Management student in Marawi City. She is the third child in a family of 12 children. Their parents earn a living from their little sari-sari store and the construction job of his father.

Volunteering in World Vision activities, Jhamira learns at an early age the importance of children’s rights such as the right to education. As one of the eldest siblings, she usually takes her younger siblings to school. She also teaches them in their school works.

“I believe that education is one of the answers to the growing problems of povery, peace, and crime in the country. Education is also a way to prepare our future leaders,” she says.

Last May 9, she practised one of her rights — the right to vote. “I was nervous. I’ve never voted before. It’s my first time,” she quips. “I was careful in choosing the right leader for I know that it is where our future and hope depend. Casting my vote during the election for me is one way of proving Dr. Jose Rizal’s belief that ‘Ang Kabataan ay Pag-asa ng ating bayan’ (The youth is the hope of the future).”

She also hopes that the thousands of first-time youth voters last election were able to choose the leader that they think will bring more opportunities for the children and youth to fulfil their dreams.

“I hope they realize that their vote is their voice and that their decision matters for our future,” Jhamira says.


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