A unique child-led group driven by the principle „Nothing for children without child participation”
Who we are
Children’s Board is a unique, national initiative which takes the form of an informal group comprised of children and adolescents of different ages, from various cities, from both urban and rural areas, growing up in families and in public care, with various ethnic backgrounds, and diverse experience in representation. For some, it is the first time their voices are reaching decision-makers.
Our main goal is to enable children’s right to participation and to expressing their opinions.
We aim to conduct dialogues with as many people as possible about our activity and about the ways of consulting and involving children, within their maturity and understanding level, thus contributing to respecting all their other rights and to improving children’s lives around the globe.
How it all started
The 12th article of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child stipulates the right of all children to be heard and have their views given due weight thus contributing to improving the community.
In January 2019, as a result of the decision taken by the Ministry of Labor and Social Justice through the National Authority for the Protection of the Rights of the Child and Adoption, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Minister Delegate for European Affairs and UNICEF in Romania to collaborate during Romania’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in order to promote at the European level and as matter of priority, children’s right to participation. Four Romanian Junior Ambassadors to the EU have been selected thus laying the foundations of the Children’s Board.
Our mission and objectives
Children are, indeed, the future, but, they are also part of the present. They are the symbols for innovation, inspiration and the change which is so needed nowadays. We, the Romanian Children’s Board, promote children’s participation in decision making, amplify the voices of the vulnerable children and encourage diversity. Acting under the principle „Nothing for children without child participation”, we aim to put our right to be listened and considered on the leaders’ agenda.
Through U-Report, we consult the opinions of thousands of children and adolescents.
Driven by a common wish to do good, we shape the civic spirit of young people, we enable them to know their rights and responsibilities and we contribute to building up a sustainable community which functions in accordance with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Children’s Board in 2020
In December 2019, Children’s Board initiated, organized and conducted the selection of new members. Out of 260 online applications, new members have been selected by the children in order to continue the mission of the Children’s Board.
Between 11-14 January 2020, along the newly constituted Board, we participated to the first workshop organized in Bucharest, where we had informative sessions about the ways of working, the initiatives and results of last year, about UNICEF’s national and global activity. At the same time, we participated to a consultation and we had the opportunity of talking about the wishes and issues that Romanian children have, together with Mrs. Renate Weber, the Romanian Ombudsperson, and with Mr. Ioan Gânfălean, Child Ombudsman.
Our initiatives this year
- The U-Reporters Community
Through dedication and common efforts, together with the National Council of Students as well as other partners, we managed to inform and mobilize over 10.000 children and young people who subscribed as U-Reporters. Through the U-Report platform, we are collecting the concerns, ideas and suggestions of over 10.000 young people and further make their views known. Furthermore, together with the UNICEF team, we contributed to analysing the surveys’ results and to writing articles through which we present children’s and young people’s opinions.
- #kidstakeover through UNICEF’s communication channels
Our voice, as children, has been presented and amplified on the communication platforms of UNICEF in Romania – Facebook, Instagram, the official website - platforms which we utilized in order to make our voices and projects known. Here are the main topics:
- What is love? - #kidstakeover
It is particularly difficult nowadays to find that absolutely authentic and beautiful love that every person should feel. Given this, on the occasion of the Dragobete Day, we, members of Children’s Board, thought of sharing our adolescent sensitivity and emotions by writing about how we perceive love. Our messages could be read on Facebook and Instagram.
- Covid-19 - #kidstakeover
In these difficult times through which we all go, we realized that we should bring a splash of color to destroy the monotony and boredom that could settle in. Thus, we started writing mini-blogs by and for children, through which we tell how we spend our quarantine days, offering a few suggestions of activities which may help bridge these stay-at-home days, in an easier and more pleasant way. The mini-blogs have been published on the UNICEF website and promoted on the Facebook and Instagram pages.
As we are trying to find diverse activities to cast out boredom during the #StamAcasa time, we thought of creating a 10-days online activity, challenging the children and young people to send us daily pictures, in order to answer to questions like: “What is your favorite food and how can you prepare it easily at home?”, “What activity do you miss most?”. We also challenged them to create a “Pandemic box” where they can gather all their thoughts during the quarantine.
UNICEF in Romania extended their online activity also on the TikTok platform, where children’s creations are published. The TikTok users receive suggestions of activities that they can do while they stay at home and advices through which they can raise their Covid-19 awareness level, in a responsible and optimistic manner. Besides, during a few weeks only, we were happy to record 46.000 view of this video!
What do we aim to do in the following period?
Together with the adults that support us, we wish to create an environment that is favourable to the participation and the development of all children, signalling the issues that we encounter and, at the same time, trying to find solutions for overcoming them.
We discuss over WhatsApp, we meet on Skype, we are set up by departments and working groups, we learned how to use different platforms, mechanisms and applications (Google Drive, Doodle, hyperlinks, photo editing, etc.) but the most important thing is that we learnt how to work as a team and to take into consideration each other’s opinions, in order to take the right decision!
We will continue to organize projects for raising the awareness degree with regards to children’s right to participation, within their maturity and understanding level, thus contributing to respecting all their other rights and to improving children’s lives around the globe.
We will use the U-Report national consultation platform, which offers children the possibility to answer to a series of questions related to their views as well as their wishes. We also stay connected through the Facebook group Mă implic! Particip! Contez! through which you may learn about each newly launched U-Report survey, about other surveys and consultations developed by children, as well as other engagement opportunities.
Another important point on our agenda is to continue organizing local and national events and projects, facilitating the creation of partnerships with other organizations which support Children’s Rights. Considering the physical distancing importance, we will focus our work online, thus trying to reach out to as many children as possible. We also wish to mark those international days related to children’s participation and all their rights, like June 1 – International Children’s Day and November 20 – World Children’s Day.
We are creative, cheerful, full of hope, we try to do our best in everything we do, sharing our love and time in order to develop the most interesting projects.