Activation of Citizenship In Five Governmental Elementary Schools in the Minia Governorate
Currently Tanweer is implementing this project which is funded byThe Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). The project operates in five schools in Minia, four of which are located in villages of Damisher and Zahora

The project aimed to:

Improve the status of women and children in terms of discrimination, school participation and amongst children, parents and teachers.

The project's idea:

Activate each citizen’s rights in the schools included in this project. This is done using two approaches:

o       Increase equality and participation. The project is based on an integrated program which teaches children about their rights, according to the “International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)” and Egypt’s “Child Law”. Children are explained their rights according to these documents, and asked to express their understanding and interpretation of these rights through arts and crafts, the production of animated films and other creative means. During these sessions children discuss the rights to which they feel entitled, as well as their general feelings and comments on each law. Children are also encouraged to search for problems that they face inside and outside the school and to try and find solutions to these problems.

o       Teach living values such as cooperation, peace, respect and tolerance. The children use these lessons to implement various activities including; trips, camps, exhibitions, parties and visit exchanges.    

The program also incorporates parents and teachers through separate awareness meetings. In these meetings parents are instructed on the rights of their children and the responsibilities they owe their children as parents. Teachers are trained on how to incorporate human rights into their curriculum and how to encourage the respect of human rights in the class room.

This has been found to be a very effective approach in the advocacy and activism of human rights.  Lessons on children’s rights seem less valuable if it is left to a small child to go home and tell his/her parents that he/she is entitled to be free from abuse. Parents need to be included in the learning process in order for real change to be made.

There is also a coordinating committee which includes project decision-makers from the Minia Governorate. This committee determines whether the project objectives have been achieved and helps overcome the obstacles facing the project.

Project Management:

The project is  managed through the Project Staff  and the School Committee  which includes the school’s director , headmaster and supervisor as well as two children's rights group facilitators and two parents. There is also the also the Coordinating Committee which includes a variety of decision makers at the level of Minia Governorate

The most important results of the project:

 

ü      30 members of the School Committees recognize the International Declarations and Conventions related to children and human rights and Egypt’s “Child Law”.

 

ü      328 teachers identify the CRC and Egypt’s “Child Law", and they   realize the need for equality between boys and girls and respect the rights of girls.

 

ü      160 parents are aware of the importance of equality between boys and girls and on the CRC and Egypt’s “Child Law. Also parents were taught how to deal with their children at home by respecting their views and helping them make decisions by themselves.

 

ü      Boys are aware of the importance of equality and participation household chores.

ü      Children realize their right to be treated gently, free from violence, whether by teachers or parents. Also, children know to treat those younger than them gently.

 

ü      Children are aware about the importance of respecting nature.

 

ü      The children wrote 51 stories and drew 110 pictures expressing their rights

 

ü      An evaluation was used for children to understand the prevailing stereotypes associated to each gender in the work place.

 

ü      Children realized the meaning of democracy and participation, so they proposed to arrange for election in the group.

 

ü      Participation of children in preparation for the trips, camps, exhibitions, parties and visit exchanges that were part of the project.

 

ü      The children produced four animated films expressing their rights. The children were completely in charge of writing, drawing, and shooting the films.

 

ü      The children found five problems they faced (inside or outside the school) and found solution to these problems. One of these solutions included building a fence of trees around a garden at Damisher-2 school to help preserve the children’s flowers. The children built this fence with the help of the committee members.

 

ü      Holding three children’s camps to plant trees and clean schools. Five trips and four visit exchanges between schools were also conducted to help spread loyalty and companionship between the children of different schools.

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