GREENWICH, CT (WCBS 880) – December is Universal Human Rights Month and a teenager in Greenwich, Connecticut has found a way to give a voice to young people all over the world.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams On The Story

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Madeleine Lippey is a budding writer, a world traveler, the editor of an online literary magazine, and she’s only 15 years old.

“This is what I’m passionate about. I want to bring people together and I want people to connect through writing and through photo and through what they’re passionate about,” she said.

A trip to South Africa with her father set this teenager on her path toward bridging global divides with words. She started the “Do Write Campaign.”

Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

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“I really love the idea of people from completely polar worlds being able to interact with art,” she told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “Even though we come from such different backgrounds and such different worlds, we feel so many of the same things.”

She’s received submissions from more than 25 countries – including South Korea and Hungary. They include stories of struggle, despair, and hope. They can be quite moving.

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“Siphesihle Williams from South Africa wrote ‘Many of my days… Are like heavy rains… Thunder storms… And me at the middle of it all… Having nowhere to go… I pray and pray… Not thinking about moving on… Coz in this world, I no longer want to stay… My heart will forever stay my song’,” said Lippey.

LINK: The Do Write Campaign

Lippey believes Do Write is where disparate voices from different corners of the globe can find a common tongue.

“Being a teenager is hard. That’s kind of the moral of the story, and it’s really just being able to express that through art, is really most important,” she said.

Seeing the world through another teen’s eyes can be an education.

“So many of them come from homes of domestic abuse, and HIV, and just these horrible, horrible conditions. But when you hear them and listen to their words, it’s all the more moving because they’re so optimistic and they want to go to college and they want all the same things that we do,” she said.

The next stop for the Do Write Campaign is a a summer conference in South Africa – where these young women will be able to match a face to the words.

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