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MEDIA

YOUNG VOICES: THE VOICE OF CHILDREN IN WEST AFRICA

YOUNG VOICES IN WEST AFRICA: CABO VERDE, GAMBIA, GUINEE BISSAU, GUINEE CONAKRY, TOGO, AND SENEGAL

  1. BACKGROUND

Young Voices is a project pioneered to collate the views of children and young persons. The project is geared at both the girl child and the male child to ensure an equal balance of the views of children. The project is founded on the notion that children should have a say in matters that affect them. Article 12 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child for instance, provides that children have the right to be heard and have the right to freedom of expression. Young Voices, therefore, serves as a means to which this right can be achieved by creating room for children to share their opinion on societal matters that affect them.

A key purpose of the Young Voices project is to support and amplify advocacy to the ECOWAS institutions. In order to support advocacy, a report containing and summarizing information retrieved from children during the project will be created at the completion of the data collection process from the six (6) countries. The report will also contain information retrieved covering issues related to topics such as climate change, education, child participation, safe living condition and safe use of online platforms, knowledge on child rights, child labour,  violence and bullying, right to a a healthy and safe environment and future fears and hopes of children in the region. Media campaigns, and a launch, involving child participation will also be arranged to support advocacy and report publicity.

  1. PROJECT RELEVANCE

The Young Voices project is essential to speed up the change process in child conditions in West Africa. To change or adjust societal culture, laws and practices to favour children and young persons, their views must be received and understood. It is under this believe that the Young Voices project is being conducted. The final project result, the Young Voices Report   serves as an advocacy instrument that was presented to legislative bodies, executive bodies and governmental and non-governmental institutions. It therefore, serves as a foundation to many other better aligned projects that will truly reflect the needs of children and young persons in the region. In the creation of child-inclusive laws and policies, the report can serve as a factual point of reference.

  1. PROJECT REALITIES AND CHALLENGES

The project was easily kick-started in all the target countries (Cabo Verde, Gambia, Guinee Bissau, Guinee Conakry, Togo, and Senegal). The data collection process was difficult in some areas and countries. The following step was the data evaluation and analysis. At the regional level, the data was processed and a report was developed to reflect the countries realities.

  • The issue of children’s rights is an everyday topic. It is on the curriculum for some classes. So the subject primarily concerns students, and interests teachers and school founders who have spared no effort to welcome the initiative;

1. SOME PROJECT PHOTO INDICATORS (Many photos have been taken but are still yet to be compiled). However, here are some photo indicators.

TOGO: Photos from Ecole Amesika, Ecole Gorges Clemenceau, Ecole Ma Patrie,
Ecole Youth Power & Institut Superieur le Technocrate

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