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November 2019 is fast approaching! That means it’s the Global Action Month one more! So children and more than 400 young people in tdh partner projects across Southern Africa up to the age of 24 are ready to mark this annual signature month in the tdh family across the world with customary fanfare of varied themed activities. All these are immediately uploaded onto the GAM world map for posterity! The Global Action Month will run under the theme “Promoting Environmental Child Rights” The 2019 GAM is unique in that the UNCRC will be celebrating 30 years of its existence and children and young people will participate in related activities.
In the first week of November we all go back to basics. We will do a refresher for old members and introduce new ones to what GAM really stands for. We use Radio, Television, Print and Social Media to launch the event and make certain every child and young person in our communities is aware and participating!
The second and third weeks we go into the communities to raise awareness on the importance of protecting the environment now and for the future. Community theatre, newspaper articles, talk shows, debates, clean-ups, art-for-fun sessions are some of the activities that will light up Southern Africa. There is always new innovations so expect even more fun and games this year!
The 4th week we challenge communities to live the talk and protect the environment daily. Vibrant marches, petitions and engagement with stakeholders to map a way forward will underline this critical time. As young people we not only want communities and stakeholders to know about environmental child rights; we also want them to actively promote these rights so that children get to experience them.
In Southern Africa, as young people we are the change that we want to see. Everyday! GAM is of course the icing on the cake!
In Southern Africa child participation has become a common rallying point among young people as they agitate against the increasing scourge of child rights violations. They have formed their own structures in schools and communities to have their voices heard on matters affecting their lives. They participate in campaigns against ecological child rights violations, early child marriages, child labour, teenage pregnancies and child sexual abuse and exploitation. They have adopted the new social media such as Facebook and WhatsApp as essential media platforms for sharing of information and experiences. One of the topics that is being taken up at different levels is children’s right to play.
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