Right to Children’s Participation
“At Arigatou International, we believe in the active participation of children and that is why we want the Children’s Solutions Lab to be an opportunity not just to work for them but with them”
–Fred Nyabera, Director Arigatou International – End Child Poverty.
At End Child Poverty...
We have always believed child empowerment by listening to them and their meaningful participation in addressing poverty affecting them, as anchored in the Arigatou International core values and further enshrined in the 10 GNRC Panama commitments on ending violence against children. We have accomplished this mainly through our annual ‘Together We Can End Child Poverty Worldwide’ campaign; through which we have reached to over 65,000 children over the decade.
“I feel like an eagle destined to fly high, but not alone, with fellow children who I will also inspire to purposely eradicate poverty in their hearts and minds”
-Susan, 14 year-old girl, Kenya
Other avenues of meaningful child participation has been through the Poverty Solutions Initiatives and the Children’s Solutions Lab. These poverty solutions involve innovative child and youth – led initiative, that unites communities in finding simple yet effective solutions to alleviate child poverty. The Poverty Solutions have mainly been domiciled in India , Nepal and Bhutan. Cumulatively, they have impacted over 150,000 lives of children over the years.
“We found interacting with children as an acknowledgement to the children’s voices which may pave way for active advocacy and influence on local policies”
–Volunteer children trainer, I Can Malaysia
Further, meaningful child participation has been integral in achieving quality education for vulnerable children. A key highlight of this was in our initial call up for the Children’s Solutions Lab in 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic in nearly all parts of the world. Children came up with on supporting children’s education and tackling child poverty, despite challenges brought on by the pandemic, which had shifted learning from the normal school courtyard to digital spaces. Notable highlights were actions by children’s groups from India , Peru, Serbia, Kenya and Cuba, among many other countries. Find out more about the Children’s Solutions Lab here.
“We have helped the children, we have studied with them and I have, with the help of my parents, downloaded the online classes and some materials like multiplication tables, tales, riddles, tongue twisters and many more. And we also could download them didactic books so they have fun at the same time they learn.”
– Ana, child from Cuba.
“In moments like this, it is important to dream and children are dreaming of a better way to deal with poverty affecting them and seeking solutions to challenges affecting their communities. Adults must continue to encourage children because the importance of imagination for children can never be overstated”
–Dr. Katherine Marshall, Executive Director World Faiths Development Dialogue and Arigatou International Advisory Group member.
In 2020, we received 37 applications from 23 countries worldwide.
In 2022, the number increased to 84* applications from 38* countries.
First launched in 2020 as a meaningful space and a participatory process for children from different backgrounds to come together to understand, dialogue and take action towards ending child poverty through solutions focused on education, the Children’s Solutions has aims to foster ethical reflection among children, and nurture positive values related to ethics. The Children’s Solutions Lab is envisioned to be a path breaking innovation premised on the notion that children are knowledgeable about their own situations and have invaluable contributions to ending child poverty.
“When children are provided with clean water, they remain healthy and thus scape poverty in terms if diseases. This is especially essential during these times of the COVID-19 pandemic”
–Godwine Jaika, End Child Poverty photo contest winner; 2021
“It’s always good to invest in children, children have innovative and fresh ideas that we can learn from. Although they might sound difficult to implement, they learn lessons from their experiences, they adapt and when challenged their creativity will come out”
–Sister Esperanza, GNRC Peru