Supporters of the My Hero project,
Actors of globalisation,
All of you who came to celebrate
I would like to seize this occasion to let you know that no word is meaningful enough to express the joy and pride that I feel today.
Joy, because three years back I had not yet discovered the wonderful world of images and sound. Today the My Hero project has opened my eyes to this world. It’s just like a new day is born, a day that comes with tremendous possibilities and unlimited choices. All you need to do is to have the will to create change.
I am proud to realise that somewhere there are some people who care, people with new mentality and open mind to bridge the gap of cultural differences, people who dare meet and exchange with strangers, and people who “love to be in contact with other people” and who stopped talking about globalisation in order to move into action. Today you are seeing the result of that commitment.
Mamadou Tall Diedhiou said that “birds are the messengers of the sun that announce to the world the victory of light over darkness, meaning the birth of a new day”.
You will agree with me that something is being born here today, with this first my hero short film festival. It is our duty, to all of us, to take a stand and make it a big thing, something that will inspire people to act for a better world, a world with no cultural barriers, connected by the sacred links of friendship, a world that cares.
We all need the examples and inspiration of heroes. People like you and me, who took a stand one day, to make a difference.
That was the case of Terry Fox, today we have the Terry Fox run for cancer
That was the case of Mandela, today apartheid belongs to the past
That was the case of Young Mattie Stepanek, who inspired thousands of people.
That was the case of young Nkosi Johnson who moved thousands of people to fight AIDS
And all the others.
These are people whose life and actions shook the foundations of our society, Examples that have inspired people all over the world, including me and, no doubt, you.
And this, in my opinion, is one of the greatest benefits of globalisation and communication.
I would like to thank the My Hero Project for offering unlimited possibilities to teachers and learners worldwide, and bringing variety into the classroom. There’s nothing deadlier for teachers and students than routine and the monotony of the same lessons every day.
I am used to telling my students that since they cannot go and see the world, the My Hero project brings the world to them. And the only thing that they should do is upload their stories to the My Hero website and let the world know about them. Through this exchange they upgrade their word power and knowledge of the culture of the others. They grow up. And that’s wonderful.
I cannot say all the good the My Hero project has done to me and my professional life in this speech. It would take hours to do it. So I will stop here and say enjoy the Festival.
Thank you all.