Month: January 2022

The HDC is Our Hope

 

The Human Dignity Curriculum (HDC), developed by the World Youth Alliance, teaches young people ages 4-18 about the value of the human person, the power to think and to choose, to treat persons as subjects and not objects and to use their freedom for human excellence. It sounds like a tall order, but students are hungry for big ideas that capture their imagination and their heart.

“The HDC is hope,” said Rocio Valdez, an HDC coordinator, who brought the HDC to students in a small town in Paraguay, in the midst of the COVID pandemic. “I think it’s important to teach kids that life is worth it and that their dignity is a given, regardless of the situations they find themselves in. Even if that situation is illness, vulnerability or feeling small.”

Growing in the awareness of their intrinsic value, students begin to see themselves as protagonists in their own education and story. One of the ways the HDC does this is through showcasing the stories and struggles of others. “The stories in the HDC really inspire the students to see that other people have gone through difficult things, too. What makes them a hero is that they chose to do the right thing even when it was hard.” 

The HDC provides students with the
framework to understand being and becoming. In simple terms: that they
are a person with human dignity and that they have the capacity to
pursue human excellence. And that to be a hero is as straightforward as
to choose what is excellent.

There was one student who was very shy and rarely spoke in class. Rocio could tell that this student didn’t feel able to express herself or share her opinion in class. “In this one lesson, we discussed choosing between the hard but excellent choice and the easy but not-so-excellent choice. At the end of the class, this little girl shared with me that it was inspiring to learn that she could make good decisions for all aspects of her life. She was shocked. She said she had never thought that she had dignity, and so she didn’t know that she could make good choices.”

Rocio can only marvel at the changes in that student: “I will never forget watching her at the
end of the course–that jumping, smiling girl was changed–and that was amazing to see.
Teaching young people to love themselves and to love others is what the HDC does.”

 

Published: January 25, 2022

Written by: Breck Giltner