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COLLABORATING WITH CHILDREN FOR CHANGE

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Children’s Powerful Voices:

Speaking Up to Create Change

Children should be seen and not heard. Unfortunately, such cultural beliefs dominate parts of Kenya and the world, particularly when it comes to the voices of girls and women. But children understand their realities and can be powerful voices for change in their communities. Plan International Canada supports them to participate in decisions that affect their survival, protection and development. Last year, for example, we collaborated with Global Affairs Canada and teachers’ associations in Kenya to support a project called Tulinde Tusome, which means “Protect us and let us learn” in Kiswahili. Children in 88 primary schools set up student governments and journalism projects and gave input regarding school improvements. Tulinde Tusome supports children to exercise their rights as citizens and to express their views. Such projects lead to far-reaching changes in children’s lives – and in the lives of their communities. In the end, children should be seen and heard. It’s their right. As Bridgett, a go-getting girl who was recently elected as school president proclaims, “I wanted to show that girls can lead too.”