Kids Takeover- UN initiative for Children’s Day

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in School News | Comments Off

When you get an opportunity to become a peer educator you feel both privileged and humbled by the experience.

4 students from different schools were selected to be a part of #KidsTakeover- an initiative of the UN in honour of World Children’s day.

UNICEF in collaboration with Expressions India, gave an opportunity to students to take charge of important roles as ‘officials’ of the UN.

On 20 November’ 2017, Akshay Parashar and Aadya Saxena of Delhi Public School, Faridabad, Paridhi Puri of Ahlcon International School and Avantika Chodha of The Indian School, took charge of responsibilities in the UN office as peer educators.

Akshay and Aadya took the job of UN Resident coordinators, Mr. Yuri Afanasiev; Paridhi and Avantika became the UNICEF Representatives of India.

From managing meetings to meeting important government officials, our day was filled to the brim with jobs that would not only help learn what it’s like to be an important official, but also to have our voices heard on platforms where it’s essential to have children heard.

Akshay and Aadya did excessively fulfilling work, their day consisting of meetings that revolved around all the issues and concerns relating to the treatment of differently- abled citizens in India. They met government officials with regard to taking action and also took over the UN twitter account for India, where they continually tweeted about their activities. They even went live on the radio and gave an interview and also spoke to callers.

Paridhi and Avantika spent time working on a survey conducted on 1,000 children in India and held meetings with the Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, Mr. Justin Forsyth, Regional Director of South Asia, Ms. Jean Gough and Dr Yasmin along with the section chiefs in the UNICEF office.

We also had the honour of attending a panel discussion with Sachin Tendulkar. There was a special olympics’ team consisting of differently abled players, and another team with players alongside Sachin.

Sports, indeed, is a leveller, because on that field, in that moment… what brought them all to the pitch was their love for the game.

In the evening, we attended a parliament session where 7 young children from 7 states of India acted as MPs for the day and shared their lives with the ‘members of the parliament’ . They spoke about their aspirations and expressed their opinions. Soundarya from Odisha talked of life as a differently abled child and how difficult it is to study, Kanada from Karnataka spoke about child abuse, Guriya from Bihar spoke about the ill-treatment of women in her state, Bhargavi from Telangana talked about the lack of facilities and provisions in her school, Arti from Maharashtra shared her suffering as a child migrant, Shubham from Assam shared about the lack of adequate nutrition in his state and Saikat, the youngest, from Jharkhand talked about the giving rights to a child in today’s society.

As our day wound down we headed for dinner. All of of us felt empowered and accountable, taking the role of leaders. We learnt how important it is to give our perspectives when it comes to making a change. We are certainly obliged to UNICEF and Expressions India for giving us this opportunity, and we hope that such chances reach out to all kids, because it is important for the youth to take charge and to give solutions that have long lasting effects.

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