Meet our Adolescent Wonder – An Interview with Shachar Vaknin

Shachar Vaknin is a Israeli teenager and a dedicated
student ambassador for Letters of Love.

 

Shachar regularly conducts sensitisation lessons for various grades in her school. In this interview, Shachar speaks about the power of compassion, keeping aside prejudices and her passion for bringing change.

Q1. How would you best describe yourself?

I am Shachar Vaknin, a 10th grader from Amal school in Hadera, Israel. The main thing that pops into my head whenever I'm asked to describe myself is the fact that I love all kinds of people for who they are. I tend to act whenever I see something wrong happening in my surroundings, I am an active and an assertive person.

I am also really attached to my family. Whenever I want to relax, I read a good book or go for a walk on the beach.

 

Q2. When did you first become aware of the Syrian situation?

I first became aware of the Syrian situation two years ago, but it wasn’t a full exposure to the gravity of the situation. I knew there was a war going on there but nothing more than that.

 

Q3. Could you tell us how you first got to know about Letters of Love (LOL)?

I first heard of LOL from Ella's Instagram (my bunk counselor from Seeds of Peace) and from Pooja's Instagram.

 

Q4.  For Letters of Love, what is the kind of work you have undertaken until now?

Up till now, I have passed sensitisation lessons about the Syrian situation in the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th grades in my school.

 

Q5. What prompted you to take action?

The main thing that really prompted me to take action was the fact that kids are involved and that the kids’ interests are that what LOL is putting at the top of their acts.  I believe that in situations like these, kids and their happiness should be a top priority and that’s exactly what LOL is doing.

 

Q6.  What do you think are the moral obligations of ordinary people like us when societies in other parts of the world are facing such a huge crisis?

The moral obligations of ordinary people like us, in my opinion, is to put aside every political agenda, all the stigmas and prejudices, and to act with our hearts and with compassion. To be the best humans that we can be, and to come to a mindset that even the smallest action can lead to another's smile.

 

Q7. If you had to give a message to the leaders of the world, what would it be?

If I had to give a message to the leaders of the world I would have asked them to do their job with a little bit of compassion, to put humanity first, to be there more for their people in need,  and to act with dignity and a lot of integrity .

I would have asked them to combine their forces in order to create a better society and a united and peaceful world for all civilians.

 

Q8. What are your plans for the near future?

I plan on finishing school with good grades and continue to be involved with Seeds of Peace, with LOL, and the entrepreneurship centre that I'm taking part of. On a broader scale, I plan to continue to take action wherever I can and make a change.

 

Q9. What is your vision for the world?

I know its bit cliché, but I truly hope that one day we will wake up and live a happy and peaceful life amongst one another, that we won't know any more wars, poverty, human suffering and there will be no more borders. That one day we will realize the true meaning of world peace.

 

Q10.  What would be your message of love to fellow citizens of the world?

My message of love to the fellow citizens of the world would be:

Always act out of pure kindness, be there for the ones in need no matter who they are or who they mean to you.

Put humanity and dignity first, be mindful of your surroundings, don’t ignore problems always acts for change, keep on being your absolute, true selves, do what makes you happy, a lot of it, and surround yourself with the people you love and stay safe.

I love you all my fellows.