Throughout history in Africa, beliefs and way of life have made adults exercise power over children in all aspects and at all levels. This has made children accept this status and their obedience to authority and social order continues to be expected at all levels. While obedience in itself is a good virtue, there are a lot of child participation limitations brought about by cultural interpretations of children and their role in the communities and this continues to place them at disadvantaged positions in terms of contribution to their own development and protection and that of their communities.
Understanding rights and responsibilities as citizens allows individual children to develop themselves and their communities in an equitable manner. Rights cease to have meaning if the individual lacks the skills and knowledge required to actualize them. Empowering children and their organizations therefore becomes important. Children from over 31 schools in Kenya and over 18 schools in Tanzania now participate in children courts, children assemblies and child rights clubs to learn from a number of topics such as children rights and responsibilities and basic life skills topics like self-awareness, self-esteem, assertiveness and decision making among others.
Because children are now able to learn life skills, values, rights and responsibilities; cases of violence against children are reducing both in school and home settings and school attendance rates continue to improve.
The environment where children grow up is of major influence on who they become later in life. Children that grow up in a nurturing, caring, safe and stimulating environment will have more chances to develop to their full potential than children who are growing up in a less supporting environments >>
We came together as East Africa team implementing the INSPIRE Strategies to end Violence Against Children with an aim of reviewing our achievements and challenges, and collaboratively reflecting on the key lessons we have learned to enable us improve programming in practice... >>