After listening to a guest speaker during an Iona Prep Human Rights Club meeting last year, Iona Prep senior Angelo DelToro was immediately impacted by what he heard. During the Fall of 2018, Sangita Bujulaiye, of the Institute of Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI) in the Netherlands, visited Iona Prep to tell students about statelessness and the millions of people in the world who deal with its effects. Mrs. Bajulaiye shared a book with students, The Girl Who Lost Her Country, which tells the story of Neha, a Nepalese girl who loses her citizenship. The book teaches students of all ages what statelessness is, and how its effects can greatly marginalize people and threaten their human rights.
After listening to this presentation, Angelo was inspired to create change and immediately devised ways to create awareness of the problem and to support those marginalized by being forced to be stateless. In the Spring of 2019, Angelo organized a basketball tournament at Iona Prep to raise funds to purchase copies of the book, which he distributed to schools in the Dominican Republic during the summer of 2019. With the help of the Iona Prep Human Rights Club, Angelo raised more than $2,000 to purchase 700 copies of the book. This summer, Angelo traveled throughout the Dominican Republic and visited a number of schools and community centers where he discussed his project and distributed the book.
Angelo has also been named a Cause Ambassador for the clothing company Boy Meets Girl. Through this cause, Angelo helped the company design a t-shirt geared at raising awareness of various human rights issues. 30% of the proceeds from these shirt sales go to the charity of Angelo's choice, which he has decided to put towards his work with statelessness.
To learn more about statelessness CLICK HERE.
To see Angelo's clothing campaign (Angelo is pictured 3rd from right), CLICK HERE.