Scottish children’s mural depicts the future they want

The project was led by Children’s Parliament and supported by the Festival of Architecture and the East Lothian Council.

The children from Tranent, a town 10 miles east of Edinburgh, created the more than 10 metres-long mural which explored their views and experiences of their environment and how it impacts on their rights and well-being. 

250 children participated in creative workshops which included inputs from local community members, urban designers, historians and wildlife rangers.

Due to the energy and commitment from stakeholders, StreetsAhead Tranent was invited to the UNCRC Day of General Discussion in Geneva.  Children travelled to Geneva to share their work directly with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and other children and adults from around the world.  

Anna, 10, from Tranent said it was important for children to be taking part and explaining their mural. “Kids should be treated well, and we should be able to play about with our friends,” she said. Alistar, 9, also from Tranent agreed. “The environment is quite important because without it, things would be really bad,” he said. “Global warming is going to get really bad and we really need to help the environment.”

Children’s Parliament, the International Play Association and the Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland (CYPCS) worked with Terre des Hommes to develop Under the Same Sky, an international constellation of projects that shared children’s views on the environments in which they are growing up.  This comprised projects from six countries – Mozambique, Australia, Palestine, Zimbabwe, Brazil and Scotland.

The project demonstrates the possibilities for how children’s voices can be included in local and global dialogue, if adults are willing to invest the time and resources needed to create appropriate and supportive opportunities for children to engage, to listen to and value their contributions. Children’s voices should have a ripple effect, influencing life in those spheres closest to them as well as the wider discussions of national and global significance.