Gabby Weiss is the Lead Student Ambassador as well as the youngest team member of Letters of Love.
She is also in charge of conducting sensitisation sessions for her school after having undergone training with the Letters of Love curriculum team.
She has also started a Letters of Love Club in her school. In this interview, Gabby talks about the reasons for her connect with the Letters of Love cause and shares some hard-hitting messages on the importance of love, universal peace and overcoming prejudices.
Q1. How would you best describe yourself?
I am a short, spunky, passionate thirteen year old. I love to laugh with my family and I love to dance. I also want to make sure everyone knows that they are amazing!
Q2. When did you first become aware of the Syrian situation?
Last year, when I was in seventh grade, my English teacher taught us about many current affair issues including the refugee crisis, child soldiers, the fight for girls’ education, bonded child labour, and more. In addition to reading books and having mutual discussions, we organised an inspirational fundraiser wherein we gave speeches and cited poems about these topics, which is when I became more and more passionate about these issues and wanted to help.
Q3. Could you tell us about your first rendezvous with Letters of Love (LOL)?
I feel so blessed to have found LOL. I was doing a project at my school where I was trying to collect letters of hope and support for Syrian refugees. I ended up collecting close to 200, but had nowhere to send them. After emailing many places that couldn't help, I found Pooja Pradeep at LOL and she let me become part of the team
Q4. Under the aegis of LOL, what is the kind of work you have undertaken until now?
So far, I have met with some of my friends from school and decided to work together with them to give underprivileged communities lots of love and hope. Also, I have taught one class at my school about the Syrian refugee crisis and can't wait to start collecting more letters.
Q5. What specifically prompted you to take action?
I decided to take action when I saw the video titled “The Most Shocking Second a Day” and “Still the Most Shocking Second a Day” video by Save the Children organisation. These videos showed what each second in the life of a refugee looked like.
Q6. Why do you think it is important for persons of all ages living in peaceful and privileged societies to be aware of the crisis in Syria and other conflict areas?
I believe it is important, for everyone living in peaceful and privileged societies to be aware of the crisis in Syria and other conflict areas because if we don't help them out - who will? Also, if we were in their shoes, we would want as many people to support us as possible. Especially since we are privileged, it is our duty to help those who aren't as lucky.
Q7. What do you think are the moral obligations of a civil society when societies in other parts of the world are facing a crisis of this magnitude?
I believe the moral obligations of every person in a peaceful and healthy society is to learn, teach others, and do something to give your love to people around the world facing hardships. If everyone relies on someone else to be the change, then no-one will change anything and the problems won't get any better. Like LOL stresses, whatever you can, with whatever have, wherever you are.
Q8. If you had to give a message to the leaders of the world, what would it be?
We all are all human and we all deserve love, peace and safety no matter who we are. Don't you think it’s odd to think that someone is good or bad by where they are from, what they look like, or what circumstances they have landed in (even if they can't control it). I know that if I said that world peace is possible you might say “well, it is way more complex...” BUT IT'S NOT! If we start to treat everyone like they are equal and make sure that everyone gets love and openly discuss our hopes and fears, things can change. So, please spread love and strive for world peace - you got it!
Q9. What are your plans for the near future?
My plans for the near future are to present at many classes at my middle school and continue this month with my LOL club to work together to spread love to everyone.
Q10. What is your vision for the world?
My vision for the world is to reach a time where no one is judged for how they look, where they are from, or what they believe in. I see everyone accepting and celebrating everyone for their uniqueness and opening their hearts to those who need love. I see peace for everyone and working together with people who don’t believe the same thing. I hope we will be united over love and peace. We can all be different and yet, unite over love.
Q11. What would be your message of love to fellow citizens of the world?
My message would be - things are not really that complicated. This may sound cliché, but I challenge you to really think about this, “We are all human. Isn't that enough to unite us?” We are all human and we all need love. Let's change the world because as Kid Presidents says “things don't have to be the way they are.”