Committed in protecting the rights of children and youth through its various programs, part of the advocacy of Open Heart Foundation is deepening the knowledge and understanding of CYDP scholars on children’s rights, participating in advocacy activities and capacitating them to be leaders/advocates of their own rights
To introduce the CYDP scholars on children’s rights, they should first be aware of the widely recognized international human rights treaty signed by 198 nations, the UNCRC or United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child.
The UNCRC outlines the ‘civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion and abilities’. Consists of 54 articles, it sets out children’s rights and how governments should work together to make them available to all children.
The Orientation on the UNCRC, Child Rights and Responsibilities entitled ‘Gabay sa Karapatang Pambata’ was conducted by Open Heart Foundation via google meet facilitated by one of its Program Area Coordinator, Ms. Janette Corollo. A total of 78 CYDP scholars actively participated in the learning sessions who were divided into 4 batches in June-July 2021. The participants came from 9 areas handled – (1) Apayao, (2) Catarman, Northern Samar (3) Bukidnon (4) Sagay City and (5) Murcia, Negros Occidental, (6) Calapan City and (7) Victoria, Oriental Mindoro, (8) Rodriguez, Rizal and (9) Mati, Davao Oriental.
While most of the participants are already aware of the basic rights of a child, ironically, majority are not aware of UNCRC. Moreover, most of them admitted that they are not familiar with the responsibilities as well as it is not given much emphasis during discussion of such topics. In the learning session, the participants were also given an overview of children’s situation during the pandemic based from the baseline study released by the Council on the Welfare of Children (CWC) in September 2020.
From the learning session, CYDP scholars had a deepened understanding on child’s rights and responsibilities, recognizing that in every right there is a corresponding responsibility. The group also acknowledged that they can help disseminate this information, advocate children’s rights and help protect the rights every Filipino child in simple ways they can. This serves as an inspiration to most of them as they suggested to learn more on possible activities or methodologies to teach other children about their rights and responsibilities and in involving parents and guardians in such advocacy.
To God be all the glory!
Prepared by: Janette Corollo, RSW, Program Area Coordinator 1