Right to Children's Participation
Arigatou International fosters and promotes meaningful children’s participation and empowerment, as fundamental right of each child, espoused in the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC). Through End Child Poverty, we have created specific avenues for children to learn, grow, interact with one another and their wider community, and to engage in actions that lead to the eradication of child poverty. These flagship initiatives include the Children’s Solutions Lab (CSL) , Poverty Solutions ( India Poverty Solutions, Bhutan Poverty Solutions, Nepal Poverty Solutions), and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Academy for Children.
At End Child Poverty, we have always believed child empowerment by listening to them and their meaningful participation in addressing poverty affecting them, as anchored in the Arigatou International core values and further enshrined in the 10 GNRC Panama commitments on ending violence against children. We have accomplished this mainly through our annual Together We Can End Child Poverty Worldwide campaign; through which we have reached over 65,000 children since we first started the campaign in 2013.
“I feel like an eagle destined to fly high, but not alone, with fellow children who I will also inspire to purposely eradicate poverty in their hearts and minds.” Susan, 14-year-old girl, Kenya
Other avenues of meaningful child participation has been through the Poverty Solutions, which are innovative child and youth-led initiatives that unite communities in finding simple yet effective solutions to alleviate child poverty. The Poverty Solutions have mainly been domiciled in India, Nepal and Bhutan. Cumulatively, they have impacted over 150,000 lives of children over the years.
“We found interacting with children as an acknowledgement to the children’s voices which may pave way for active advocacy and influence on local policies” volunteer children trainer, I Can Malaysia.
Further, meaningful child participation has been integral in achieving quality education for vulnerable children. A key highlight of this was in our initial call up for the Children’s Solutions Lab in 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Children came up with on supporting children’s education and tackling child poverty, despite challenges brought on by the pandemic, which had shifted learning from the normal school courtyard to digital spaces. The Children’s Solutions Lab is a meaningful space and a participatory process for children from different backgrounds to come together to understand, dialogue and act towards ending child poverty, through solutions focused on ethics education. The CSL aims to foster ethical reflection among children, and nurture positive values related to ethics.