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Children’s participation during COVID-19: Video Stories from Gaza and Colombia

Updated: Dec 6, 2020

In this post, we introduce the 'Spotlight Series: Children as Leaders and Partners in COVID-19', a new collaborative initiative resulting from the work of organizations striving to enhance children's participation in the context of COVID-19.

Although the limitations of promoting children’s participation during COVID-19 are strong, child-centric initiatives have emerged as the pandemic has spread around the world. To highlight some of the creative examples, the Care and Protection of Children (CPC) Learning Network, in collaboration with International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD) and the Global Child Protection Area of Responsibility (CP AoR), have launched the 'Spotlight Series: Children as Leaders and Partners in COVID-19'.

This Spotlight Series is an initiative stemming from the new ‘Moving Towards Children as Partners in Child Protection in COVID-19 Guide: From Participation to Partnerships’, which was designed to assist humanitarian actors to strengthen children's meaningful participation in their work in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic and in preparedness planning moving forward. As a part of this initiative, we share with you the following videos. These videos will be available with English, Arabic, French, and Spanish captions.

Spotlight Series: Coding for Good in Gaza

The first video in this series spotlights Zaina, a 16-year-old teen from Gaza who designed a phone application on her own. The phone application includes COVID-19 tips and aims to help children and their parents understand the virus and learn more about how to protect themselves and their families. She provides us with reflections about how organizations could partner with young leaders like herself. Zaina shares that there are often barriers for teenagers to get their work and creative ideas out into the world due to age. She implores organizations to support young leaders as they have many ideas that would benefit society.

Spotlight Series: Children as Leaders and Partners in Covid-19

The second video in this series highlights Artolution Colombia's work centering child participation in their programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Local teaching artists and young community leaders who coordinate Artolution’s programs describe their approach to participatory community art projects where children and young people collaborate on public art to convey their shared narratives. Artolution has adapted to pandemic challenges by leading creative virtual projects where children across different countries can connect. When most of us think of child protection, arts programming is not often included in the conversation. Young artists at Artolution call us to rethink the importance of art as protective and as a medium for young leaders to take charge of how they are seen and heard.

You can check out additional videos on the CPC Learning Network's YouTube channel.


Notes on the Contributors:

Yana Mayevskaya

Yana is a Senior Program Officer at the CPC Learning Network providing technical support for the Global Child Protection Area of Responsibility Help Desks. She coordinated the qualitative evaluation of a gender-based violence prevention program for adolescent girls in Ethiopia and supported a randomized controlled trial that evaluated social, health, and economic asset building programs for adolescent girls in Zambia. She received her B.A. in Biology/Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz and her MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.

Laura Wright

Laura Wright is the Director of Participatory Methodologies, International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD) and a a PhD Researcher and Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh. Laura's research and practice with children, youth, and adults has focused on play and arts based participatory methodologies, children’s meaningful participation, intergenerational partnerships, children’s rights, play, child protection, and psychosocial wellbeing in diverse contexts in West and East Africa, Asia, Europe, Canada, and the Middle East.

Vanessa Currie

Vanessa Currie is the Executive Director of the International Institute for Child Rights and Development. She has spent the last two decades working in children’s rights with a focus on children’s participation in their protection. She is passionate about engaging children, youth, families and communities in imagining systemic change and working together to implement shared solutions. Vanessa uses participatory research approaches to explore challenging situations together with young people and their intergenerational allies that help create sustainable solutions.

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