Speaking for Myself: Voicing the Hopes and Concerns of Children i Armenia | Mission East

Speaking for Myself: Voicing the Hopes and Concerns of Children i Armenia


Project Status: 
Complete

 

Aim:

Overall Objective: Children with and without disabilities in Armenia are empowered to realize their rights as children and as active citizens - creating an inclusive and child friendly environment for all.
Specific Objective:
1) Armenian children (both with and without disabilities) have their capacity built in order to facilitate their meaningful participation in decision making and advocacy from local to international platforms and across different media forms.
2) Armenian children are supported to network, participate and be directly represented in local, national and regional decision-making fora.
3) Representation of Armenian children in national media is improved with children as active contributors.

Support to Armenia

 

Background:

The project seeks to address 2 key issues. The poor perception and representation of children in Armenian society in general, and the same issues as they specifically relate to children with disabilities. These groups represent about 25 % and 2,8% of the population respectively.
There are currently 49 inclusive Armenian schools educating 1,225 children with disabilities and special education needs. Education in Armenia remains based on “talk and chalk” with little attention to active participatory learning processes which would develop inclusion, communications, problem-solving, personality and life skills and values. Lacking these essential skills children, irrespective of whether or not they have disabilities, lack the confidence to express their views and stand for their rights even when they are violated. Moreover they don’t believe in their ability to influence on decisions concerning their life. The situation is much harder for children with disabilities who are not expected by adults and peers to be able to fully contribute in the society. Lacking the practice of the benefits of child participation on policies, practices, ideas and beliefs not the general public, nor its other stakeholders (decision makers, professionals and ordinary citizens) believe in the relevance of child participation in decision making processes or in media.
Problems to be addressed by the Action:
1. Low but slowly improving situation in recognising Armenian Children’s rights in official laws;
2. Widespread stigmatisation of children in Armenia hampers their full inclusion in society.
3. Limited participation and impact of Armenian children in media and policy making work.
4. Lack of awareness of disabled children their families regarding their rights - and consequent inability to advocate for them.

 

Action:

Training for children in leadership, advocacy, public speaking; hands-on media training/assistance including filming, writing and photography; establishment of 31 inclusive school committees who organise school debate clubs, national summer camps on child rights, Child Media Teams; establish 2 regional inclusive school committees; establish a national inclusive school committees; Facilitate exchange/ cooperation with existing national and international children/youth forum and inclusive children’s clubs; rights awareness activities & campaigns in children forum; survey & report from/on children’s rights presented on national conference; debates, consultations and study visits between children and key decision makers; children produced TV and radio reportages shown in national media, articles and special editions in children's magazine ‘Sunflower’; children internet blogs; media awareness raising campaigns; annual campaign on "Children and Media."
 

Donor:

EuropeAid

Project code:

ARM-EUA-010

Location:

Armenia, Yerevan city and Tavush Marz (province)