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Article 15(1): Everyone has the right to their nationality.-Talitha helped to set up night schools to educate the working Chinese about their own history and culture in their own language in the voices of Chinese scholars. Up until the 1960s, the Chinese had been forced to learn about their history from the perspective of Westerners.-She hosted Westerners visiting China (after 1972) in her home to introduce them to the new China and to help promote diplomacy.Article 25(2): Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.-She worked with the China Welfare Institute to establish schools and afterschool programs for children (regardless of their status).-She advocated against the Chinese tradition of footbinding.-She wrote extensively about the deplorable working conditions that women faced in factories.Article 26(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.-She helped to establish training programs for women, teaching them how to read and write in their own language with the hopes of empowering them to participate in their society and give them an edge in the workforce.
Awards:-1st Green Card Awarded to a foreigner in Shanghai-Honored by mayor of Shanghai in 1986 for a half century of service to the Chinese people-Soong Ching Ling Camphor Tree Honorary Award for her service to women and children
Fun Fact: Every year on her birthday, in a gesture of appreciation, the children from the Children's Palace would come to Talitha's home in Shanghai to sing songs to her and present her with handmade gifts.
Talitha Gerlach:1896-1995 Human Rights Champion in China
Nickname: Grandmother Geng
References:“American in China”. Chicago Sun Times. November 4, 1979. Gerlach, Talitha. “We were on the brink? How to win peace.” Letters from China. Obtained from: http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/strong-anna-louise/1963/letters_china/ch05.htm. Obtained on: 3/28/11. Cityweekend (blog). “Lost Souls”. Published: 12/04/2006. Obtained from: Obtained on: 3/28/11.Gerlach, Talitha. “Chinese Women I Knew”. An essay within: Living in China: By Twenty Authors from Abroad. New World Press. Beijing, China. 1979; pp. 226-243.Video from Children's Palance in Shanghai: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JhkbVffmH4&feature=related *photos are from family records