Kateryna Kartashova (16), youth participant at the UN General Assembly in New York in December 2007
Kateryna from Ukraine is one of more than 85 children who have gathered this week at the Millennium Hotel in New York, United States, at the World Fit for Children +5 Children's Forum.
The Forum has been organised so that children's voices can be heard at the meeting to evaluate the progress made in fulfilling the goals set out in the UN's World Fit For Children plan of action.
The meeting is officially called the Commemorative High Level Plenary Meeting Devoted to the Follow-Up to the Outcome of the Special Session on Children, and is taking place from 11 to 12 December.
At the Forum, key issues related to the two thematic interactive round-tables are being discussed, and participating children will choose one boy and one girl to speak at the closing session of the plenary (what does this mean?). In order to generate an interactive discussion, children are also preparing their perspectives and issues to be raised at the round-tables.
The themes to be discussed at the round-tables are 'Promoting healthy lives and combatting HIV and AIDS', and 'Providing universal quality education as key to achieving the MDGs and as the first line of protection against abuse, exploitation and violence against children'.
Kateryna gave an interview to the CRIN website where she talks about her expectations and her special interest in child rights:
Profile - Kateryna Kartashova from Ukraine
Kateryna is 16 years old1. She lives in Romny, Sumy Region with mother, grandmother and step father. Romny is a small but beautiful and old Ukrainian town. It has population of 46,234 of which 10,000 are children under 18. Kateryna studies at a secondary school specializing in Humanities. English and Society Studies are her favorite courses at school.
Kateryna is active in all spheres of life – she is both artistic personality and child activist. Kateryna’s interests include: dancing, singing, writing poems, organization of different artistic and other events. She takes an active part in activities of the Pupils’ Democratic Republic (school self-governance body). Due to her active participation in school self-governance she was elected to become a Head of Child Advisory Board to Romny Municipal Administration. The Board is composed of 32 representatives of each secondary school of the town. The Board is taking part in solving issues of concern to children in the town and encourages their participation in the local self-governance. Children work closely with the Municipal Council’s members and advise them on how to make the town more child-friendly. Particularly, they advise on a number of issues concerning safety, environmental issues, leisure and recreation, and other issues of concern to children living in the town.
Children who are members of the Advisory Board are not expecting others to do everything for them - they try to solve problems themselves. Thus, on 1 June 2007 Child Advisory Board decided to make a surprise for little citizens of the town. It organized a program including entertainment and competitions with presents and awards. The event was organized using money collected during fundraising campaigns ‘Don’t be Indifferent’, ‘Make Children Happy’, and ‘If I were Romny’s Mayor’.
In September 2007 Kateryna participated in All-Ukrainian Meeting of Young Leaders in ‘Artek’ International Child Center3. In the meeting in ‘Artek’ Kateryna took part in all activities aimed at upbringing of young Ukrainian leaders. Without a doubt, Kateryna is a young Ukrainian leader – eager to learn, work hard and participate in the life of the local community to the benefit of her country.