Friday, 12 October, 2007

प्रोजेक्ट २० अपडेट: चाइल्ड रिघ्ट्स, चाइल्ड लेबर ऎंड चाइल्ड डोमेस्टिक लेबर

“Save their rights & do it right yourself.”

“We want our rights as we DESERVE our CHANCE.”

“Let kids breathe freely as they won’t get their childhood back.”

“Stop Child Labour, it is one of the worst things you could to a child.”

“You send your children to school – don’t you want others to go to school?”

“If there is someone who can help its US.”

Did we ever think that children themselves are perhaps the most powerful catalysts for change within their own age group? That young people are critical in motivating their peers to realize what Child Rights mean, to become pro-active citizens and help young people believe that they have immense strength, to be able to create a difference in their own communities?

Young people living in New Delhi, India believe so. “This project has made me think beyond my own world, it’s made me remember that I am responsible and that I can’t pass that responsibility on to anyone else anymore.” - Saudamini, a 19 year old Peer Facilitator.

The voices of 200 ten and eleven year old students at The Shri Ram School, Vasant Vihar in New Delhi, India resounded in October 10, 2007. In a project conducted by UNICEF and The YP Foundation, a youth organization promoting young people’s voices by supporting projects currently on Child Rights, Child Labour and Child Domestic Labour; students and staff from The Shri Ram School came together to share young people’s experiences and thoughts on what young people think, and what they can do, to create effective change with the issue of Child Labour.

Involving twenty young Peer Educators from The YP Foundation and UNICEF; over one thousand young people from ten schools across Delhi are participating in a two part workshop series that sensitizes young people between the ages of ten and sixteen to increase their knowledge of Child Rights, Child Labour and Child Domestic Labour. The project aims at highlighting the various stakeholders who play key roles in being able to bring about a change and influencing children’s behavior towards their becoming agents for change in their households and in their communities.

October 10, 2007 was a special day for the young people working in this project. It marks the 1st Anniversary of the Amendments of the Child Rights Act in India and gave children a chance to connect using theatre, music and art to understand how the Rights of the Child apply to their lives. Using the UNICEF cartoon Meena and the medium of open forum theatre; the theatre group Manzil enacted a play that described some of the realities children in Domestic Labour experience. At the height of the tension in the play, they invited students from the school to substitute the actors and in the role play, students explored the different ways in which they could make a positive impact and increase communication.

In an act of solidarity, students came together to create an art wall, a series of posters that expressed their beliefs. Using waste material innovatively, the students used words like ‘love’, ‘respect’, ‘play’, ‘food’ and ‘rights’ to advocate what young people can do. This exhibition will be shared throughout October and November with young people across New Delhi.

“This Diwali, I want to help 4 children in Child Labour instead of burning crackers।” – Nirdhi. Says Ishita, a 22 year old Project Coordinator from The YP: “It’s small realizations like that, that are really encouraging. They also remind you that to enable the rights of all children, the most effective change starts with me.”

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