Forum Next Week To Hear Children???s Perspectives

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Over 100 secondary school children will soon get an opportunity to express their views on different issues which affect them, when the Child Care Board hosts a Youth Forum as part of Child Month celebrations.

"Who Am I: Perspectives of the Child" is the theme of the meeting, which will be held next Wednesday, May 19, at the Barbados Workers’ Union Auditorium, Solidarity House, beginning at 9:00 a.m. It will target students who have potential leadership qualities and others who may be presenting some challenges within the school environment.

There will be an official opening ceremony which will be addressed by the Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Stephen Lashley; Chairman of the CCB, Maureen Graham; and Jemeila Maloney of the Emerging Global Leaders.??

During the day, a group of children from five schools will make 10 minute presentations on who they are in the family, with their friends, at school, in church and in their community, and discussions will follow.

Concerning the subject of family, they will share viewpoints on decision-making, finances, and discipline/punishment; while the aspect of friendships will deal with the power of peer pressure, leaders vs. followers, and who sets the boundaries in relationships.

The component relating to the church will address its relevance to young people and its impact on today’s world; while in the area of school, they will look at being a role model or follower and the consequences, book smart vs. hand smart and respect for the school’s motto and code of dress. The children’s contribution to the community, including whether they are assets or liabilities, will also be discussed.

The Youth Forum is expected to inform policy makers about possible solutions and programmes to be implemented to reverse any negative trends being observed. It is also hoped that the discussions will strengthen the students’ capacity to lead, mobilise and encourage their peers to get involved in issues that affect them, particularly at the school and community levels.

saustin@barbados.gov.bb

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