What’s Right and Who’s Responsible?

We only have a few weeks left of Making Art, Making Me workshops before our May exhibition in Moshi. Over the forthcoming workshops we will be building on previous ideas whilst exploring a new topic, Child Rights. So far we have looked at our project theme Identity through a personal perspective, looking at life experiences and influential factors. Secondly, we explored our community characteristics, and to round it all off we will be learning about children’s global identity through the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC 1989)

These rights, 54 to be precise are categorised into themes

  1. The guiding principles; so setting out the terms and definitions

2. Protection Rights; keeping children safe from harm, violence and abuse

3. Participation Rights; ensuring that children have a voice and that it is heard

4. Survival and Development Rights; they have the right to live and develop to their fullest potential.

This convention became legally binding in 1990 and with only two countries left in the world to ratify it signifies a global commitment to the new vision of the child.

After introducing the United Nations (essentially as an international organisation which helps countries talk to each other) we learnt about who, what and why the UNCRC and its relevance to us. Most importantly we learnt about responsibilities, and how the huge global task of making the principles of the UNCRC a reality isn’t just up to the governments. All members of society, including children, must play apart in implementing, protecting and respecting these rights.

Last week each school took on a specific theme and discussed in their groups how either they, their community or the government can take this on board. They then went on to draw illustrated stories exemplifying these rights and responsibilities in action!

An example of the work produced from Kibo school (Survival and Development) is the above picture of Article 8 – The Right to an Identity. Here a child is born, goes to school and is registered at a local government office. The groups also produced written work about a particular right. When discussing Article 32 (Child Labour): The Government should protect children from work that is dangerous or might harm their health or education, the following statements were produced at Singachini

  • We as children should refuse to do work which is beyond our physical strength
  • We shouldn’t be taken out of school to carry and sell bananas
  • Let us as children refuse to work on coffee plantations for low wages
  • Let us refuse to be taken away (abducted) from schools to work as house girl or boys in the town
  • Parents should refuse this and stop letting people take us away for work
  • Parents should not allow us to go and graze goats

Considering most of the children had never heard of the UN or a human right before, this was a really great response to a very difficult and complicated topic. It was fantastic to see that they were confidently presenting their ideas about rights whilst demonstrating a strong understanding of their responsibilities. We look forward to sharing further artworks and ideas with you soon.

Finally, It was an especially great moment for us to introduce our pupils to our international audience through our analytics page last week. On behalf of the children’s great big beaming smiles, we thank you all for your continuous interest and support. From Iceland to Ethiopia, Canada to Korea we hope you will enjoy the remaining few weeks of Making Art, Making Me, Tanzania.

Asante Sana na Karibu Tena

(Thank you very much, you are always welcome)



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Filed under Communities, The Millenium Development Goals (MDG)

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