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Scientology Human Rights Youth Education Program Presented at "Panafest" in Africa

August 2, 2005

To the beat of drums and the music of a Ghanaian dance troupe performing human rights themes, the Church of Scientology International brought its human rights program for youth to African leaders during a special presentation at Panafest 2005, a six-day Pan-African festival. Panafest, the largest and most prestigious cultural event on the African continent, is being held in Accra, Ghana, and is attended by tens of thousands with over 5,000 African and international visitors from 32 countries.

Joined by Mary Shuttleworth, Executive Director of Youth for Human Rights International, Church of Scientology International Human Rights Director, Leisa Goodman presented the King of the Cape Coast, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, with a human rights education package based on the theme of UNITED, the award-winning human rights music video for youth.

The King of Ghana, the Ghana government and the African Union are the organizers of Panafest, with the King recognized throughout the nation for his work with youth and innovative approach to change. In his address at the festival, the King stressed the vital need of human rights education to improve conditions for youth in the country. Following that he introduced the Church's presentation. Both he and the Second Lady of Nigeria, Mrs. Amina Titi Atiku Abubakar, have indicated their desire to implement the Youth for Human Rights International (YHRI) education program throughout Ghana.

YHRI's chapters in Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leon and Uganda also sent representatives to the event. Young people from all across Africa as well as the United States gave heart-felt speeches about their personal experiences of human rights abuse and the role youth must play in teaching and bringing human rights to other youth.

Youth for Human Rights International was founded in 2001 to educate young people in human rights so they become advocates for tolerance and peace. YHRI publishes What are Human Rights? a handbook for children available in 20 languages. YHRI also produced UNITED, the extremely popular music video and winner of the New York Film Festival Grand Jury Award. UNITED is available in 15 languages and has aired on TV and movie theater screens across the world.

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