Facilitating Youth Participation
This initiative is our Flagship Social Enterprise. We provide a consultancy service to businesses, Orgs etc who seek expertise in designing and delivering programs that elicit and engage the authentic child and youth voice. Income generated from these consultancies go directly to cover administrative costs and organizational overhead.
Our overall objective with this initiative to promote greater public awareness of the importance and necessity of child participation in the community. Through participation in marketing campaigns, joint decision-making with adults and/or with the lobbying of decision makers and advocacy strategies, youth can add a unique perspective with value to community conversations. To achieve the goal of increasing youth participation, we adopt a flexible multi-pronged engagement strategy that builds opportunities for children to improve the capacity and provide opportunities for meaningfully and effectively participation in decision-making. Young people are provided with the tools, skills, and platform to develop a sound understanding of their rights, and enhance their capacity to address concerns about their rights.
What Program Participants are saying...
"During my three-day stay at HO, I learned a lot. On Wednesday May 7th, 2008, our agenda was themed: What does our child abuse response system look like? The program for today was very interesting and lively. We had a SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threat) analysis exercise in which we broke up into four groups;, the legal systems (consisting of courts, laws, and enforcements), the care and service providers(medical and psychosocial) ,care and protection service providers for survivors(NGOs, fostering, adoption and shelters.) and Policy, Advocacy and research. The aim of this exercise was to conduct a preliminary assessment of the roles, held, and played by the stakeholders present in the child abuse response system. Also, representatives of health care professionals, law enforcements (judiciary) and NGOs gave their process and challenges involved in addressing issues arising from child abuse. Next, In our individual groups we studied the case of a child survivor who had been engaged in the child sex work to get money for her senior high school education since her mother could not afford it. We looked at how we would help this child survivor if she came to us, our assumptions we bring to bear on our processes and also the challenges we face in our referral process and coordinating without other groups of people engaged in the same work. Finally, there was a mapping of services activity done in the afternoon.
In conclusion, during my three day stay at HO, I learned;
1) That the main reason for the workshop was to establish NCAN which clearly sets out the mandate and roles of each stakeholder involved in child abuse cases.
2) That a child protection system is an effective delivery of children who are abused physically and in all manners and also to ensure universal and equitable protection for all children especially the vulnerable.
3) Also children abused in all forms are humiliated and stigmatized.
It was a great opportunity to add our input as young people who understand the realities of those who the NCAN is meant to help. Thank you for inviting us and valuing our participation and input! - Thelma Gyasi, 13