KidsRights Changemakers

A must read about the importance of a name and nationality

A must read about the importance of a name and nationality

The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion has written a wonderful book, that explains the issues around not having a name and nationality very well: "The Girl Who Lost Her Country". A story that revolves around Neha, a girl from Nepal, who travels the world with magic coins. She makes new friends in every country she visits, learns about the meaning behind having or not having a nationality, and puts the pieces together about her own.

Francia (International Children's Peace Prize winner 2010) her story is similar to Neha's. Francia won the Prize for her fight for the right to have a name and nationality.  She grew up in an impoverished little village. At 14 years old, she decided she wanted to go to high school.  When she wanted to register herself at the school, it turned out that she couldn’t, due to the fact that she didn’t have a birth certificate. She was denied access to the school and couldn’t continue her education.  

“If you’re not registered you don’t exist” - Francia Simon, Dominican Republic

Her father never registered Francia at birth. For the law, she did not exist, and so did she not have access to basic needs, like education. She did not have a name or nationality. A strange thing to imagine, when you feel and see that you clearly, physically, exists.  Read here more about Francia and how she achieved change. 

If you want to learn more about the topic of name and nationality, for a project, presentation, school assignment, or something else, please read "The Girl Who Lost Her Country"! Click here to have a look.