World Children’s Day: “Thank you for believing in us!”
“For our future to be bright, stable and happy, the opinion of each member of society must be taken into account regardless of age and gender,” says 14-year-old Margarita from Ukraine. On November 20 we are celebrating World Children’s Day, an opportunity to highlight the importance of children's participation in decisions that affect them. A right that is particularly important for girls, who are more affected by gender inequality and gender-based violence¹. It’s our duty to support them to make their voices heard! Among them are Yesenia, Alaa, Hasina and Margarita, four young girls who share their vision, ideas and projects to help shape tomorrow's world.
"Violence cannot be solved with violence", Yesenia, Colombia
As part of the #Creemesitelocuento (Believe me if I tell you) campaign in Colombia, young people shared their thoughts on violence. "Often, when girls, adolescents and young people suffer sexual, psychological and physical violence, they become more shy, less sociable and have fewer friends. They have self-confidence problems," says Yesenia from Tierralta.
"I think that the fight against violence is already taking place within the family, with parents, with brothers and sisters. It also needs to be taught at school. We, those who can, must set an example. Violence is not solved with violence, but with peace, by doing awareness campaigns and teaching parents and children to treat each other well," concludes Yesenia.
See her filmed testimony (in Spanish)
17-year-old Alaa from Gaza creates a gas detector to save lives
The participation of children and young people is at the heart of our FabLab project. These fabrication laboratories offer them the opportunity to create their own projects using digital production tools.
In Gaza, Tdh opened the first humanitarian FabLab in the region to develop the educational and professional skills of disadvantaged children and young people. Thanks to the equipment available, young Alaa developed her idea there. “I created a gas leak detector that detects gas, carbon monoxide and smoke. In winter, people use coal inside and sleep. In many cases, children die because of intoxication. When the carbon monoxide level increases, the detector wakes them up to warn them to put the fire out. The device is not expensive, considering it saves a lot of lives.”
Hasina, 17 years old, represents West Bengal with her Kabaddi team
In the West Bengal region of India, Tdh's Kabaddi project uses this traditional male dominated sport to empower and raise girls’ confidence so they can create a future they want to lead, which is void of child marriage, gender-based violence and trafficking.
“Before I started playing Kabaddi, I felt I had no value,” explains Hasina, 17. "My father had arranged my marriage for this year.” Thanks to this project, she was able to develop the confidence to talk about it with her family. “I told my family that I didn't want to be married, that it was too early and not the right time for me."
Click on the image to see the video
“The young people are seen as the promising future of the world”, Margarita, 14 years old, Ukraine
As a young participant in the YouCreate project in Ukraine, Margarita painted a mural to raise awareness on how to prevent bullying. She talks about the participation of children and young people: “For me, participation means taking part in school, village and community life, being interested in current issues, problems of society, meeting up with my peers and identifying areas where we can help.”
“The young people are seen as the promising future of the world. Sometimes, our views of solving a problem can be more creative, brighter and simpler. Young people not only have fun, but we can also think, empathise, delve into problems and make serious decisions. For our future to be bright, stable and happy, the opinion of each member of society must be taken into account regardless of age and gender.” She concludes with a message of hope and gratitude: “The coronavirus pandemic is a very difficult time for all of us and I would like to wish everyone good health and patience. You believed in us, and we’re grateful for that!”
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