The United Nations’ Universal Children’s Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated every year on 20th November. It is an opportunity to promote international togetherness, educate children of their rights and continue to improve children’s welfare. Since 1990, this date also marks an important time when in 1959 the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.
ChildHope and Tusonge hope to build on their success in Tanzania by securing funding for the introduction of child rights clubs in neighbouring districts in the Moshi region. ChildHope’s local partner, Tusonge, has been collaborating with communities to establish a local child protection framework, including a child protection committee, a child rights club and a network of local stakeholders, who have responsibility for the protection of children and their rights.
The child rights clubs at the local primary schools were set up in 2016 and have 50 members, boys and girls that meet every Friday afternoon to learn about and debate on their rights. Tusonge trained two teachers to support the clubs and to complement the children’s learning with participatory activities such as drawing, role play, stories, songs and poems through which they can express their knowledge of their rights and share their learning with other students in the school, their families and the wider community. Two child members and the two teachers represent the voice of the child rights clubs on the local child protection committee and have the opportunity to raise individual cases of child abuse and identify appropriate support with other committee members, including elected community representatives, parents and Christian and Muslim faith leaders. Committee members take every opportunity to raise awareness about parental and community responsibility for child protection.
ChildHope’s Partnerships and Progammes Manager recently visited the school, welcomed by the members of the child rights clubs who talked confidently about their rights, understood who to approach for support and protection and presented their drawings and discussed the child rights they represent.