Proud children offer insight into successful research
A group of youths on the front line of a child rights research have shared their experience, in a special event organised by Save the Children in Lebanon.
The Child Rights Governance Regional Learning Workshop for the Middle East and Eurasia, held over two days at Le Commodore Hotel in Beirut, opened the door for civil society organisations to hear from experts on different approaches of monitoring and advocating for child rights.
A series of presentations on accountability and strategy were followed by a panel discussion in which six youngsters who took part in Save the Children’s child-led research offered an insight into the role they played to raise the voice of children.
Taghrid* was one of 200 young researchers who worked to understand challenges facing children in Lebanon. She said encouraging children of her age to speak up was a satisfying experience.
‘’We went out to meet children in our communities,’’ said the 15-year old. ‘’Children of all nationalities; Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian. After analysing the results, we recommended solutions to those social problems. We presented our findings at the Arab League in Cairo.
‘’It was a great opportunity for us to learn about problems that children struggle with and think of solution for these challenges.’’
The workshop comes to cap off months of hard work by those children, during which they say they have shaped their personality and appreciated being the defenders of their own right.
‘’We felt enabled to express our views openly, thanks to Save the Children,’’ said Rasha*, 13. ‘’It was great to know they were interested in listening to us. We felt we were the voice of all children in Lebanon. We hope to have played a role in improving their situation.’’
Save the Children’s Child Rights Governance programme aims to empower children to realise their inalienable rights. In Lebanon, the organisation works through three partners- Mouvement Social, ALEF and NABAA- to reach children across all communities.
Rana Kharrat, Child Rights Governance Specialist at Save the Children, said, ‘’Every time I meet these children, I feel proud of the work our partners and us have done in building [children’s] skills, and reassured as they are the future generation that will make changes happen in the region.”
The ultimate aim will be to see these changes delivered by those who have the responsibility to take note of children’s demands in any decision-making process.
*Names have been changed for protection purposes