CALAO EXPRESS 210 (November 2021)

Online bulletin of the African Movement of Working Childrent and Youth (AMWCY)

AMWCY: AMWCY Executive Management Group (EMG) meeting

From 18 to 23 October 2021, the Executive Managerial Group of AMWCY (EMG) held its meeting in Mbour (Senegal). The meeting brought together participants from the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Guinea, Niger, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo and two guests from Cameroon and Zambia. During its meeting, the EMG took stock of the support for new groups of children in working situations that were identified in AMWCY member countries. Each delegate shared the activities undertaken by the AWCY in their country in a bid to help these children resolve the difficulties they face. The EMG responded to Save the Children’s Organizational Assessment Questionnaire (OCA). In doing so, it undertook a self-assessment of the AMWCY, assessed what has been done and what has not been done in the action plan to strengthen the institution. The EMG also held working sessions on the new 2022-2026 program that the AMWCY has approved with Save the Children. Further to that, the EMG validated and adopted the cartoon film “Tounga: that must change!” of the AMWCY. The film translates into a child friendly version, the ECOWAS strategic framework on child protection. The EMG also took stock of the financial resources mobilized in 2021. Significant progress has been noted in the mobilization of resources between 2017-2021. This made it possible to allocate support to all the 28 national coordinations this year. Finally, the EMG also discussed the registration of the AMWCY.


Benin: awareness raising on security measures during Aguegues and So Ava floods

On 16 October 2021, the WCY of Aguégués and So-Ava conducted an awareness session for parents in order to rigorously adopt security measures in the event of flooding in a bid to better protect children. The activity is inspired by the risks faced by pupils and apprentices in the two cities. In a bid to reach a large number of people, the WCY carried out door-to-door awareness. In doing so, they visited 276 households including 146 in So-Ava and 130 in Aguégués. During these sensitization sessions, the WCY emphasized the need to accompany children to and from school or training workshops, and to ensure children’s personal hygiene. The awareness session  also educated parents on how to help children avoid using dirty water for washing and drinking so as to prevent epidemic and pandemic diseases such as cholera in particular. In their next campaign, the WCY plan to offer soap to households in order to promote hand washing. To do this, they have launched the collection of soap from people with goodwill.

Guinea: AWCY Koundara installs Safe Park

On 13 October 2021, the National Coordination of the Associations of Working Children and Youth (CNAEJT) of Guinea with the support of ISS-WA, installed a playground called SAFEPARK in Koundara for working children and youth of the city. In total, 125 children including 82 boys and 43 girls took part in activities, namely: football match, skipping rope, dance competition, scrabble games, ludo, listening and identification sessions, racing and word count games for kids, etc. The Safe Park serves an entertainment center for children and youth in isolated localities and border towns with high passenger departures, but also and above all, as an integration point for children on the move. This Safe Park gives children the opportunity to have fun and thrive in their community. It also facilitates the identification of children on the move and candidates for mobility; facilitates the orientation and monitoring of children on the move while preventing illegal migration of children and youth.

Kenya: violence against children in times of crisis

If you want children to stop working, parents need fair wages to be able to feed the family.” It is in these words that Grace, a representative of the Children’s Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Homabay association, addressed the United Nations courtesy within the framework of Dialogue Works. She gave her point of view during a joint campaign led by Kindernothilfe and Terre des Hommes in September. Grace along with two other representatives of the Children’s Advisory Committees shared their experiences on the impact of isolation and lack of support for abused children and the stress caused by multiple socio-economic factors during the COVID crisis. They shared the activities they took as children in Kenya. Alluding to dignitaries including, high-level government representatives, in particular the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica, Grace launched a special message on actions that should be taken by politicians including the making of child friendly policies, putting the interests of children first, and take punitive measures against people who violate children’s rights.

Nigeria: technical support visit to Makoko

As part of the implementation of the initiative to support groups of children and working youth, the AWCY of Nigeria organized technical support visits to 10 associations namely: Makoko, Abeokuta, Adamawa, Whekan , Aradagun, Seme, Ajegunle, Ileshi, Ipokia, Iyafin and Owode covering 3 states of Nigeria. The visits were carried out between August and October 2021, in the aforementioned associations. They aim is to revitalize their associations and empower certain WCY who need material support to learn sewing and hairdressing. More than 13,300 people of all ages were impacted: children, youth, adults, girls, boys, men and women.

Sierra Leone: reforestation activity

On 2 September 2021, the WCY embarked on a reforestation exercise in order to sensitize the population about the importance of planting trees in the community. Numbering 15 children including 9 boys and 6 girls, they carried out the activity in the community of Jui, 49 km from the capital, where they planted 320 trees. This activiyy is driven by the effects of climate change and other environmental disasters on children and the entire world such as floods, mudslides and deforestation.

Determined to play their part in the fight against climate change, the WCY encouraged the populations to adopt and follow a reforestation system in their community, and in their gardens. The reforestation exercise was successful and elicited a positive reaction from the children of the community, who pledged to provide their continued support for the protection of the environment through this type of individual or collective actions.

Coming soon: Calao Express No. 211