At the occasion of the Day of the African Child on June 16, the first Roaming Child Rights Forum was organised in Sudan. For two days, a roaming vehicle-turned-studio roved around the capital Khartoum with Save the Children’s Rights Ambassadors, Dema and Minna. The girls stopped by the offices of key stakeholders to share children's points of views, demands and to understand what they are delivering to children.
Sharing recommendations from Sudanese children
One of Dema’s missions was to share the recommendations of her peers to the Minister of Social Development. These recommendations were brainstormed and written by children themselves following a workshop facilitated by Save the Children.
They cover many topics, from the provision of basic services, such as electricity and health, to the improvement of learning environments. Nidal is one of the children who took part in the workshop. She wishes for “the establishment of African organisations to fight child labour, and support children, not to waste their future”. She hopes her recommendations will “be taken seriously and do not only end up on paper”.
Wala is concerned by the lack of water and urges for tangible actions:
In our locality, the water is undrinkable, because it is desert water and we do not have pipe water, or generators to extract the water. I want pure water to be available to be able to protect ourselves from diseases. Life without water is not worth living.
Wala, a child involved in the initiative
Meeting Sudanese and EU officials
During her tour, Dema met with different stakeholders including the Minister of Social Development, His Excellency Ahmed Adam Bakhiet. She asked Mr. Bakhiet about the ministry's work to support children in general, and more, specifically, children affected by conflict.
She raised issues surrounding refugee and internally displaced children, as well as children dealing with the psychological aftermath. In addition, she asked how the ministry plans on protecting children like her from violence and exploitation and provide them with basic services.
After the discussion with the Minister, Dema discussed EU support to Sudanese children with Daniel Weiss, Chargé d'affaires of the Delegation of the European Union to Sudan. They discussed what the EU does in collaboration with the Government of Sudan to support Sudanese children, particularly concerning education, improvement of learning environments, and the protection of vulnerable children - and most importantly, what more can be done.
Dema's final stop was to visit the children she prepared the recommendation with at Reyada Center, to assure them that she delivered their recommendations to the Minister. On the next day, Minna, 11 years old, continued the tour and met additional stakeholders to advocate further for a better future for Sudanese children.
The EQUIP programme
Through its Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the European Union is supporting Save the Children and the Ministry of Education through the second phase of the EQUIP programme to enhance the ability of children of vulnerable groups to gain access to education and to lead socially and economically productive lives, and to strengthen their resilience and that of their communities in the Red Sea State, North Kordofan and South Kordofan and Blue Nile State. The first phase of the program reached more than 22,172 children in two states.