Volunteering Stories: KNOW YOUR (children’s) RIGHTS! – by Hattie

I’m a French international volunteer at Team for Youth Association for the second time. Indeed, in 2020 I was an Solidarity Corps volunteer and in 2021 I came back at T4UTH to do my Civic Service.

I’m working with kids, mostly with kids from disadvantages communities, my mission is to help them to not drop out school, to refuse violence and to have a healthy life style. I’m graduated with a law bachelor degree, I understand how is import for a citizen to know his rights and it’s even more important for kids. So during 1 month, I presented the convention of the children rights by UNICEF to kids.

The big question is: how to talk about rights/law to kids ? I decide to create a game to bring awareness to kids. First of all I did not want to make a classic boring presentation about the children rights where I would be the only one to talk. I wanted a discussion, an exchange. So in the different communities where I work, I asked about the different groups of kids what they know about their rights, if they know if they have rights.

I create small cards where in each sides a draw and an article of the convention of UNICEF was present. Of course, the articles was written in a simple way to be more adaptive and easy for kids to understand. Each kids had to read an article and together we discuss the meaning of this article.

The kids discovered and understood in a better way their rights, that because they are kids they have rights and their opinions matter even if they are under 18 year old. I let them speak about what they know about their rights, what they understood, what they think, etc. To be funnier, more attractive I create a magnet game, inspired by one present in the website of UNICEF. The rule was simple: to put the right text in top of the right draw. Indeed, little drawings that illustrate different children rights was present and magnet sentence who described a right. For example a magnet with the sentence «The right to go to school» and a draw of a kids in school. Each kids had to find the rights answer.

The kids liked it, it was an entertainment for them, something new. Through a game I educate kids about their own rights! They wanted and they learn a lot through this.

I also make a presentation about the concretization of the children rights in Romania. Indeed, each Europe countries has to make sure that the children right are respect. However in theory not every things is pink and perfect. I also discover myself when I was doing some researches, that in Romania the children rights are not perfectly applied. According to www.humanium.org the score of Romania is 8,54/10 .

I talk with them about the reason why the children rights do not perfectly apply in Romania. Indeed, poverty of part of the population is one of the reason, child labor in some communities in Romania, violence against children or sometimes child trafficking in another, sometimes combination, etc.

It was a pleasure for me and also for them to educate them about this topic. I work in different disadvantages communities and also in a center for kids who doesn’t lives in disadvantage communities of Baia Mare. When I was doing this activity I notice the different level of education in this 3 different groups of kids. Indeed, for some groups of kids coming from disadvantages communities it was more difficult for them to understood their rights. But thanks to these games they understood better or just discovered their rights.