The International Children’s Day is always a good occasion to think about what children need and what they want. It is also a good opportunity to ask them what they know about their rights and what they wish for their future. It is important to encourage children and young people to express their opinions about things that matter to them, as it helps them learn how to make decisions in their lives and how to really participate.
During an event called ‘The NGOs’ Fair’ held in Chisinau, Moldova on the 1st of June, Lumos gave children and young people the chance to say what they know about their rights. It was an interesting and dynamic activity where children aged 9 to 16 years wrote down on a board what their fundamental rights are. Nearly every child who took part said all children have the right to a family and education. Theyalso highlighted their right to live, to be loved and protected, to have a name, to be healthy, to express themselves, to play, to have fun and rest, to have friends, and to have a room of their own. This activity showed that children know what is best for them. Adults should listen to them and ensure children and young people fully benefit from their rights, no matter where they live.
Boys and girls also thought about what their duties are, as they lookforward to becoming active members of society, able to take care of themselves and to work together with other people. They said they have to respect their families, to attend school and study hard. Their opinions show that children and young people have a good understanding of their role in society, and that they know what are the most important values in life: to have a family, to learn and to develop.
These may seem like simple, common things, that don’t seem necessary to repeat all the time, but we think it is important to talk about and to promote children’s rights, and to help children’s voices be heard. This is our approach in working with children with and without disabilities, because by supporting them to express their thoughts and wishes we help them become self confident and motivated to make our world a better place for everyone.
‘I have the right to a family’, ‘I have the right to life, to love’, ‘The right to express myself’, ‘I have the right to learn’; ‘We have the right to rest, to learn, and again to rest’
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