Ad Nut’s home is the woodlands, rich with trees and generous with nuts. So Ad Nut can’t imagine being born to this land and yet being told by others that it’s not Ad Nut’s home.
But that is the way of the humans—requiring something official on paper to grant access to things the species needs to thrive, like education, healthcare and protection under the law.
This campaign for non-government children’s organization Voice of the Children in Malaysia is trying to shine light on the plight of an estimated 50,000 to 150,000 unregistered children in the country.
According to Malaysia’s National Registration Department (NRD), a child’s citizenship status is determined by the parents’ marital status and their citizenship status at the time of birth. The NRD also mentions that having a birth certificate is not an indication that someone is a Malaysian citizen.
The campaign, which aims to reduce the number of 'stateless' children and to raise awareness of the need for birth registration, is anchored around a blank electronic canvas, which comes to life as the face of a child emerges from the darkness.
Attendees at an event to launch the initiative were invited to sign their name on a succession of black canvases in solidarity with the cause. Conductive ink from a special pen completed a circuit, enabling the face of a child to ‘come out of the darkness’ in LED lights.
These works of art are being auctioned, and proceeds from the sale will go toward efforts to get stateless children registered and on the path to citizenship.
Members of the public can also add their signatures in support of the campaign via the Bring to Light mobile website. Users simply sign with their finger to make the face of a child appear.
Ad Nut quite likes the concept and the symbolic gesture embodied in making signatures light up and subsequently, lighting up the state (or lack thereof) of these children.
Ad Nut is hopeful the proceeds from the charity auction will yield enough funds to change the lives of at least a few children.
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