My name is Bethany, I’m 9 years old & this is part of my Belfast story…
Before I was fully aware of hate crime and racism – I did stuff with charities at home and at school. We did things like give away un-wanted toys, have fundraisers at school, do Christmas Shoeboxes for kids who don’t get any presents, and help raise money for people in Syria who lost their homes from the war.
When I went to my first Tell it in Colour event I wasn’t so sure – but when we got there I found that some of the stories were quite interesting. But when it came to Stanley from Zimbabwe’s story I couldn’t quite understand – so on the way home I asked lots of questions about racism.
Racism is when people from different countries and races – bully, hurt and make fun of each other because they are different from each other. This is what happened to Stanley here in Belfast. This is wrong as every one of us is different, as well as it being against the law.
When I was told that Stanley was coming for dinner to our house I was quite nervous – so I went to mum and she said it’s ok to be a bit nervous.
We had pizza that night and Elysia (my younger sister) and Stanley managed to start a pretty entertaining conversation about Charlie Chaplin, so as a result whenever Elysia sees or hears Charlie Chaplin she immediately thinks of Stanley! When we dropped him off at his refuge hostel I wasn’t so nervous about meeting him again and I felt I wanted to know more about his story…
I’ve seen Stanley a few times so far and now I would call him a good friend. I would describe him as very sociable and smiley and me and Elysia both agree we love his hi –fives! I enjoy watching Stanley interact with Elysia. My hope for Stanley is that he finds a better home for himself.
I like TiiC because I met Stanley through it and also I enjoy hearing other people’s thoughts and stories.
My hope for Belfast is that people who are different can be treated as actual people because everyone has feelings.
And I’m pretty sure my sister agrees – here’s what she has to say:
Charlie Chaplin is wonderful. You were really good on the stage. You are my friend.
Love Elysia (5 yrs old)