Education An ambassador for all children

Being a most versatile programme, a great variety of experts and professionals has contributed in the construction of Yennenga Progress as a role model to local communities. And now yet another title can be added to this list: Ambassador for Children’s Rights. An ambassador for children.

It is a label or informal certificate given by World’s Children’s Prize. Although just a small Swedish NGO based in Mariefred, it has for two decades managed to spread its idea all over the world and engaged millions of school kids. WCP mobilises teachers and other key persons to educate and sensitise children on their rights. Operating in a poor and often vulnerable environment, WCP specifically targets girls in order to entrench principles of equality and democracy and human rights.

The annual training periods end with a global vote (by children only) for three Child Rights Heroes. They attend a prize giving ceremony in Mariefred in the presence of one of the NGO:s patrons, Queen Silvia of Sweden and a jury consisting of 15 children who all personally have endured the lack of children’s rights in their home countries.

For a few years, WCP has worked in Burkina Faso via an organisation called Afrique Seconde Famille, ASEF. They set up trainings and distribute a package with educational materials to the school.

With added funding from the Swedish Embassy in Burkina Faso, ASEF now has brought books and other tools to Nakamtenga. It came with its chairman, Tiemtore Delwendé Prisée, who started the process with a two-day training of all staff at Yennenga schools and pre-schools. Plus 12 students 10-18 of age, who proudly could present their certificates as ambassadors.  During the coming months, they will assist their teachers in training others.

Chairman Prisée is also a Naaba, well known as a traditional king. He came with two senior officials from the national Ministry of Education, one of which is also a popular entertainer.

– He is a fantastic singer so when he entered the room everybody took up his trade mark song, quite a start of a training day, says YP secretary general Stina Berge. Then of course it became more serious, the three gentlemen gave numerous examples of children’s – notably girl’s – vulnerability in the country. It was obvious that all present could relate to these cases so I believe the two days were most relevant.

The project runs until the end of June and Nakamtenga children will also take part in several activities simultaneously arranged in several other countries.