CALAO EXPRESS 211 (December 2021)

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

MAEJT: launch of the cartoon film “Tounga: it must change!”

The launch of the cartoon film “Tounga: it must change!” of the AMWCY took place on 24 November 2021. The film translates the ECOWAS strategic framework on child protection into a child-friendly version. The launch was part of the International Day of the Rights of the Child that took place in Dakar, and specifically at the ECOWAS Gender Development Center. It was marked by a face-to-face participation of some GRPE member organizations including the SOS children’s villages, Plan International, Enda TM and the virtual participation of the 28 member countries of the AMWCY, mainly represented by children. All of them highly appreciated the film which will serve as an awareness and advocacy tool for the respect of the rights of the child. Produced by the AMWCY with the support of Enda Jeunesse Action, and the financial support of Save the Children, the communication tool is one of the results of the joint Regional Protection Group (GRPE) -ECOWAS plan. The film, the 4th of its kind in the “Tounga” series, exposes the issues facing children: child marriages, child labor, birth certificate, child mobility, abuse and violence, exploitation, and so on. It is also a call to action for state authorities and protection actors to build a better world for children.

Below the film link on YouTube



Benin : a national campaign to promote the rights of working children

From 4 to 5 November 2021, the national coordination of associations of working children and youth of Benin (CNAEJTB) organized a national campaign to promote the rights of working children. Funded by EDUCO Benin, the campaign was part of the national program to strengthen national protection and educational systems to enable the WCY to be heard by the authorities. It took place in two phases: the first was a consultation with groups of working children  from the north, center and south of the country which listened to more than 435 working children including 258 girls who are organized in associations. These children are active in sectors such as: petty trade, selling, fishing, moto mechanics, apprenticeship, etc. The second phase included capacity building and advocacy workshops which brought together 40 working children from the north, center and south of the country. The initiative also saw the participation of the network of structures which protect children in difficult situations or ReSPESD. Initiated to improve the living and learning conditions of working children and youth in Benin, the campaign was an opportunity for children to advocate with authorities, parents, employers, matrons in market places and other stakeholders involved in the child labor chain.,

Ethiopia: WCYs equipped to carry out their IGAs and others trained on the 12 rights

On 30 October 2021, the Association of Working Children and Youth of Ethiopia provided tools and equipment to 13 working children and youth who completed a three-month vocational training course in sewing, food preparation, smartphone maintenance and in electricity. The age bracket of the WCY beneficiaries ranged from 12 to 23 years. The donations that were distributed include:

– Sewing: 3 mini sewing machines

– food preparation: 2 electric fryers

– Smartphone maintenance: 7 smart phone maintenance kits

– Electricity: 1 electric work kit.

These tools and equipment will help them undertake more fruitful IGAs. Further to that, the AWCY also certified 60 WCY who completed a 13-week training on the 12 rights. This is undoubtedly a good start to educate children about their rights.

The beneficiaries were all very happy with the professional training and the opportunity offered to them by the AWCY.

Mali: training of children and youth in drawing

From 15 to 16 November 2021, the national coordination of AWCY in Mali organized a training workshop in drawings and the production of designs logos on the theme: “the migratory routes of children and youth in West and North Africa”. Supported by the AMWCY within the framework of the DDC (Department of Development and Cooperation of the Swiss government) project, the workshop brought together 20 participants including 8 boys and 12 girls. Among them 5 are WCY members of the AWCY of Mali and 15 are children and youth from Burkina, Ivory Coast and Senegal who are on the migratory routes. The drawings on migratory routes which were produced by these children and youth will be used in awareness raising campaigns and will serve to convey messages to other children and youth on the risks and dangers associated with migration. These children are also contemplating on setting up grassroots groups of children and youth on the migratory routes.,

Sierra Leone: awareness raising of pupils on road safety

The AWCY of Sierra Leone in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) Traffic M        anagement Unit sensitized the students of five primary schools in Freetown about zebra crossings, and about safety precautions in and out of school. The AWCY undertakes such activities in the absence of parents to enlighten primary school pupils on road safety. The schools concerned include the Macdonald REC Primary School, the St. Francis Primary School, the Community School Saio Elementary, the Diamond Queen Community Elementary School, and the Modern Elementary School in the western region.

Using drama to explain road safety messages, the AWCY helped the schoolchildren to understand that before crossing a road, they must pass on the crosswalk, watch the traffic lights, and in case they are afraid or unsure of the road, they should ask the police or an elderly person to help them cross the road to avoid accidents.,

Coming up soon: Calao Express No. 212