by John Arendt
Summerland Secondary School will be a little quieter on Nov. 22 as students observe a day of silence.
The initiative, organized by Grade 10 student Abhishek Lekhi, along with Ryan Varchol, is an initiative to raise awareness of children who do not have a voice in third-world countries.
Last year, 50 students took part in the first We Are Silent campaign at the school. The initiative raised $1,100.
The money went to build a school in Haiti.
This year Lekhi hopes to have 75 participants raising $1,500.
By the end of last week, between 70 and 80 students had already signed up.
He added that some teachers have also agreed to take part this year and will be conducting their classes in silence.
“It’s a whole school movement,” Lekhi said.
Lekhi said he became aware of the need for the initiative when he was in India with his family last year, an experience he describes as “a huge eye-opener.”
While there is a growing middle class in India, he said he also noticed a lot of poverty in the country.
Lekhi and Varchol have produced a 1:56 video on YouTube.com, featuring students at the school with black electrical tape over their mouths.
The video can be seen online at youtube.com/watch?v=uIXF9fXDXbk.
Donations will be accepted for the effort. Money can be dropped off at the Summerland Secondary School office. The money will go to building a library in Tanzania in 2013.