Identified as agents of change, children’s participation is integral to the success of any project that we undertake. Participation of children in the formulation of a programme, activity, and/or initiative gives them an opportunity to have a say about issues and decisions that concern them, acquire new skills, and develop a closer association to their community. As a result, programmes and campaigns created for children will better reflect their needs.
Save the Children was founded on the belief that every child has the potential to change the world; this is exactly what we aim to do through our Child Participation approach by enabling child-centric programmes with their assistance to ensure and sustain children’s overall growth and development.
PROCESS OF CHILD PARTICIPATION INCLUDES
Child-centred Resilience Approach aims at reducing children’s vulnerabilities to disaster and daily risks of mistreatment. It aims at enhancing children and duty bearers’ capacities like educating a child about emergency situations and empowering children to use their rights.
Children groups have been formed at the community level as a primary institution for working towards building the resilience of children and their communities. These children groups give children a platform to learn and express themselves. It helps them to emerge as champions for becoming agents of change, primarily at the community level.
Risk and Vulnerability Maps are prepared and developed with the full participation of children. On the basis of these maps, the future course of action of a programme at the community level is planned.
Child champions are selected on the basis of the child’s merit and capability, irrespective of their social group. From the inception of any programme, child champions are given an orientation along with other children on the project’s goal, objectives, school sessions, events, and campaigns on a regular basis.
Bal Panchayat and student club committees have been trained and oriented to have a conducive environment at school, tackle health-related issues, eat nutritive diets, maintain hygiene, etc. In some locations, child champions have approached the local Panchayati Raj Institutions to take the necessary actions to bring a positive change.
School Management Committee members, including teachers and parents, are asked to guide children on their overall development. This creates an enabling environment, and give children platforms to freely share their views, learnings, undergo attitudinal changes, and put their learnings to practice to lead healthy lifestyles.
School Health and Nutrition Workers makes household visits where children face issues related to school dropout, negative attitude towards the learnings, practices, events, campaign etc. and try to sensitise and motivate their parents and elders in the house.
During sessions and meetings of Bal Panchayat, Student Club Committees, School Health & Nutrition Workers, feedback from children and child champions is taken into consideration. On the basis of feedback, projects, events, and activities are modified and executed.
BRINGING A LARGE-SCALE IMPACT THROUGH CHILD PARTICIPATION
Here are a few images that speak volumes of our achievements.
This has only been possible because of our donors’ support.
To better prepare children, mothers, communities and their institutions, with a child-centered approach, to respond adequately to everyday risks and any future disasters, children groups have been formed at the community level as a primary institution for working towards building resilience of children and their communities.
Improved Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) towards nutrition and healthy lifestyles among school children (age 7-14) among 4 blocks across 4 states in India, as a part of their overall education.