August 24, 2005

RESOURCES: Report on Training Workshop for Adults in Emthanjeni on Working in a Participatory Way with Children

Children and Environment in Emthanjeni
Report on Training Workshop for Adults in Emthanjeni on Working in a Participatory Way with Children to Attain their Environmental Rights and Participatory Workshops for Children in Emthanjeni

For Children Concerning their Environmental Awareness
Jeanne SWART, BAHons (Psychology)
jeanne.swart@fsa.gov.uk
Director: Light Years Ahead cc (Project Director/Trainer)
2003

This 127-page report looks at the training workshops conducted at Emthonjeni, South Africa for adults working in a participatory way with children to attain their environmental rights and using participatory children workshops to promote environmental awareness amongst children.

The notion of a children and environment project was originated by Mr J├Ârgen Arinell of Karlstad, Sweden and located within a twinning agreement between Karlstad and De Aar through the Agenda 21 programme. The feasibility of the project was assessed in 2002 by Mr Arinell together with a representative from Save the Children Sweden, the Regional Plan of Action for Children (RPA), the regional Agenda 21 co-ordinator, and other stakeholders.

The objectives were:
  • to give selected adults, such as municipal officials, teachers, RPA members, and children, insight into children?s rights in the environment;
  • to enable children to evaluate their local environment through participatory processes;
  • through meeting the above objectives, to initiate child participation in the Emthanjeni Municipality.
The aims of the project were:
  • to create workshops for adults at which they would be trained in understanding children?s rights, and in how to work in a participatory way with children.
  • to create participatory workshops for children at which they would learn about the principles of children?s rights in the environment, explore their environmental rights? identify their foremost environmental needs and difficulties, formulate their ideas and dreams and identify environmental improvement projects for their area.
The project workshops were custom-designed for adults and children. The project closed with a presentation by the children to parents, local officials and members of the community The workshops for adults were all in the form of training workshops and a two-day training workshop in children?s environmental rights was held. The first day enabled adults to gain an experiential awareness of the environment akin to that of children. This facilitated their understanding of children?s rights in the environment.

This project was felt to be important because aimed to:
  • change teachers? behaviour towards children
  • Encourage girls to attend school with enthusiasm.
  • Inform teachers about children?s rights and encourage them to act accordingly.
The research found that success would be based on:
  • children getting parents to become involved with teachers.
  • Peer education and mobilisation creating a stronger voice.
  • holding workshops for teachers, train them to understand children?s rights, so that they could help children to understand their rights in turn
  • adults helping children to write letters to appropriate authorities about abusive situations in schools, e.g. to the police and children?s representatives in government.
  • holding a door-to-door petition campaign
  • finding ways to get teachers to support children
  • placing cameras in classrooms so that teachers would know that they were under surveillance; even teachers who did not agree with this would have to behave better.
Problems identified:
  • Teachers might resign and leave children without educators.
  • Teachers could feel threatened and blame the children for bringing police into schools, making things worse for children in the short-term, as fights could break out.


Click here to read the whole report in PDF format.

Due to technical reasons beyond the control of Soul Beat Africa, some PDFs may not open in some browsers. We suggest that you contact the organisation directly, or try another browser.



Source:
Online Journal of Children, Youth & Environments website in PDF format on November 5, 2004.

Due to technical reasons beyond the control of Soul Beat Africa, some PDFs may not open in some browsers. We suggest that you contact the organisation directly, or try another browser.


Placed on the Soul Beat Africa site November 05 2004.
Last Updated November 05 2004.

_________________________________________
 
Chris Schuepp
Young People's Media Network - Coordinator
c/o ECMC (European Centre for Media Competence)
Bergstr. 8 / 10th floor
D-45770 Marl - Germany
 
Tel.: +49 2365 502480
Mobile: +49 176 23107083
Fax: +49 12126 23107083
Email: cschuepp@unicef.org
URL: www.unicef.org/magic
Mailing list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/youthful-media
 
The YPMN is supported by UNICEF and hosted by the ECMC.
 
The opinions and views expressed in this message and/or articles & websites linked to from this message do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.
_________________________________________

No comments: