Children should be able to advocate their rights to education, clean drinking water, good sanitation, and quality health. To do this effectively, child advocates will need reliable but free platforms.
Digital media, however, has made this easier for people to create content and share it with the world.
To provide that voice to children in Ghana, Savana Signatures through Integration of ICT in Education project (IIEP) developed a training model called the “Young Reporters Guide”. The Young Reporters Guide helps sharpen the skills and knowledge of children and opens an opportunity for them to express themselves freely and tell their stories.
The platform also provides an opportunity to children to show life in their communities and learn about issues faced by children in other countries or communities. They do this by sharing content, photos, and videos.
For a continuous training of children as advocates, 10 teachers were selected from 10 basic schools in the Savelugu/Nanton Municipality of the Northern region and trained on the use of “the young reporters’” training guide.
The teachers were trained to serve as the trainers of trainees. They were to assist in the development of children’s skills in storytelling and writing, community mapping, photo and video taking and editing and for sharing the voice of youth platform.
The young reporter’s training guide was developed to train children to speak up on issues affecting their wellbeing and rights through content sharing on voices of youth platform. The voice of youth platform was developed by UNICEF for young people to share their opinions on issues affecting them. The platform can best be described as a global youth platform.
So far, Savana Signatures through IIEP has trained about 100 school children as children advocates and to speak up on issues such as quality education, sanitation, child labour, early and forced marriage, water and health among other issues affecting their well-being and rights in society.
More and more children are expected to be trained as Young Reporters to tell their own stories using digital platforms and the internet, photography and short videos and embark on children rights advocacy campaigns.
The training was also for the teachers to get a better understanding of children’s Rights and how to use digital media to advocate change.
The training facilitator Abdul-Rashid Imoro urged the teachers to make judicious use of the training guide to empower children with requisite writing and storytelling skills to be able to advocate their rights.
He said, “we hope to empower children in Savelugu/Nanton Municipality to contribute to enhanced children’s rights, quality health care and education”.
IIEP project officer, Simon Eten said the project had already trained 100 children who were currently speaking up on their rights including issues on quality education and health, sanitation and child labour among other things.
The participants were taken through topics such as community mapping, the concept of child rights, photo taking and editing for the web, how to access voice of youth platform, and uploading online content.
A participant Abdul Karim Umiat said they were enlightened on issues of child right and the use of digital platforms to share content with the world. She described the training as “very educative” and recommended to all schools to adopt the Young reporters guide to empower children to tell their own stories.