Spotlight on the Eurochild Children’s Council: April Update

Sharon, 13 years from Malta shares updates from this month’s work of the Eurochild Children’s Council – a voluntary group of young people under 18 working to promote children’s rights in Europe.

Hi! My name is Sharon, a 13 year old girl from Malta. I am part of the Eurochild’s Children’s Council. We are a group of 12 children from all around Europe who make sure children are listened to by lobbying their right to active participation.

Eurochild’s goal is for children from all around Europe, and eventually the world, to be happy, healthy, confident and respected. However, what use is it to hold an event discussing elements which may help this goal become reality without the presence and participation of children themselves? That is why, for the second time, Eurochild invited children (the Eurochild’s Children’s Council) to take part in its General Assembly.

We children began preparing for this event 2 days before it happened. During the first day, we got to know each other and our cause (who we were as the Eurochild’s Children’s Council  a bit more because in order to fill others with inspiration, one needs to discover himself, what he is fighting for and truly know why. On the second day, we spoke more about the EU, the General Assembly and our roles in the activities. Please note that all this happened with balanced child-adult collaboration, also known as the key to a glorious future.

On the day of the General Assembly, we were ready, despite our excitement and nervousness, to show adults what children are capable of doing – which is anything, if only given the space. We spoke about our work as a council, engaged in very interesting discussions and tried our best to highlight the weight of our input as children and young people.

I felt more enthusiastic as the event rolled on because I began to see the brilliant results of our hard work, dedication and passion. It was a wonderful experience as we children are all so different and yet could so easily be united as one, strong team when faced with a challenge which could result in our goals being reached – the goals to spread the word on children’s right to be heard.

At the closing of the event, both children and adults had reached ample interesting conclusions and had learnt new things. I shall close this article with the gist:

Children’s voices must be listened to, and what they say must be something adults act on. Adults must sometimes take a step back, and listen. People of all ages are equal and can offer many things, if only given the safe space.

Adults all have an inner child – the honesty, positivity, hopefulness, love, fun, courage and goodwill of their childhood selves, and they must find it within their hearts to be able to fully understand the world and make it a better place!