Give Change To Make Change

Paddy Barras-Hargan, 18, London

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We all remember when we were children, looking out the window of the car watching the horizon.

I remember when I was 10, living in Malawi. Driving down the road with a car full of food. I was gazing out of the window and saw a boy the same age as me in torn and worn clothes outside of a shoe shop begging for change. His feet cut and scarred from thorns and glass.

I can never forget seeing the boy. A mirror image of myself. Living a parallel reality to me. I remember seeing the shoe shop turning into a speck in the distance as I left that boy behind. Someone else could have helped right? Who knows.

I remember seeing a starving, desperate 10 year old boy begging for change but I didn't help.

But now 7 years later I have experienced the world and I know we can't leave the helping to the next passer-by. If everyone thought that way who would be left to help? We don't have time to leave others behind. According to UNICEF 22,000 children die every day due to poverty. How many die every hour, minute, second? Do the maths. Every second counts.

But why me? You must be asking. We all hold the tools to sculpt the future. We all hold the brushes to paint the fate of these people on the tapestry known as time. We all hold the future in our hands. I know not everyone is able to give money. But it's not just money that they need. It's an education, a home, a future.

If you can't give money, help collect, help raise awareness, give attention, help at fundraising events, give time. Give love.

I will never forget about that boy in Malawi. I didn't help that boy. But we can save so many more if we stand together.

Give change to make change.

Paddy is a member of our Young Leaders programme. The Almeida Young Leaders is a scheme giving young people with something vital to say the tools and platform to do so. Each young leader has been mentored by a writer and director to develop their ideas, structuring a speech and skills in public speaking.