Recommendations from the young people for reducing child poverty
UNICEF young reporters ask their peers: How to reduce child poverty in Montenegro?
PODGORICA, 19 JANUARY 2020 – How to reduce child poverty in Montenegro? – was a question that UNICEF young reporters asked their peers last week in order to make the voices of young people heard on this topic after hearing the experts and representatives of various institutions, and to encourage greater support for children affected by poverty.
The responses given by young people are full of concrete recommendations for the competent authorities for the new year. Among other things, young people are proposing free transportation to school, free textbooks and snacks at school, as well as free access to new technologies.
“We have also heard these answers before from the adults we interviewed, so there is an intergenerational consensus about them".
However, young people have also suggested additional measures, such as providing free extra lessons so that they do not have to pay for them. Peer education in the local community is another solution that young people are suggesting in order to avoid the cost of paying for private lessons.
“The parents of children growing up in poverty do not have money for private lessons, and often do not have a family member or friend who can explain things to their children,” says UNICEF young reporter Nastasja Gluščević.
"Solving this problem through free additional classes in school and peer education is important for providing quality education for every child and for overcoming poverty".
The fact that poverty is not just a lack of income is confirmed by the responses from young Montenegrin people who emphasize the need to provide children with free sports and cultural activities throughout the country. For young people these are part of quality education, because through them they develop new skills, gain new experiences and contacts, and all this leads them to a way out of poverty.
"Our media literacy campaign is based on research that has shown, among other things, that the majority of Montenegrin children and young people have not been to a single cultural or sports event in the past year".
At the same time, children and young people in Montenegro spend an average of eight hours per day in front of various screens. I believe that this number of hours could be reduced if there was a better choice of free, extracurricular activities for children and young people, and this would help them acquire faster knowledge and skills that will enable them to find a better job when they grow up and to not be poor,” says UNICEF young reporter Andrija Zeković.
Employment of parents is a frequent answer from young people to the question of how to reduce child poverty in Montenegro, as well as providing free services to families, such as medical examinations.
For young people with disabilities, the challenge is for them to find a job when they grow up, so they say that more work should be done to encourage employment of this category of the population in order to help them get out of poverty.
“If the parents are unemployed, their employment immediately improves the situation of the family, so this is a completely logical answer. However, this is a challenge if the parent has a disability and I like the fact that young people are recognizing the need to help more those who are among the most vulnerable, and that is precisely children and young people with disabilities".
Every third child in Montenegro is at risk of poverty, and this number is expected to increase due to the coronavirus crisis. Although this crisis has significantly affected all children, those most affected are children who were growing up in poverty even beforehand, which means that they should be given priority when it comes to support measures, the young people of Montenegro confirm.