By Veronica Xavier:
There’s a thing or two I’ve learnt about children while working with them at CRY – Child Rights and You – for the last three years. They have the most incredible minds. They don’t think like us adults. They‘re competitive but they like to grow together, collectively. They’re resilient and unstoppable, if only given the right spaces and opportunities to grow and achieve their complete potential.
At a Model United Nations (MUN) that Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR) had organised in collaboration with CRY, I watched our children in utter astonishment as they debated, discussed and passed resolutions to strengthen the education sector with special emphasis on developing nations.
Unlike regular MUNs, this one wasn’t a niche, elite affair. The delegates here were 25 children from CRY supported projects from Delhi, who had been researching and learning up on the countries that had been assigned to them. They spoke about the struggles of children in the education sector in various countries of the world keeping in mind their own lived realities. When it’s their voices raising an issue, it drives one to social action, for these conversations and experiences are derived from their personal experiences. They spoke about racism in different countries, they spoke about the struggles of girls, of children who don’t stick to the gender binaries, of children with disabilities, of poor infrastructure, lack of funds, child marriage, of better policies for child protection, the importance of teacher training among many many other things.
We watched them talk and we watched them blow everyone’s minds away with their sheer honesty and courage.
Durga, the delegate from Venezuela, shared how she was thrilled to be a part of the MUN. “I love being here,” she said. “I love how people want to hear my point of view. I love how solutions are being made instead of all of us only complaining about everything that is wrong. Last night after going home, I thought about all of these issues and the many solutions we can have to the problems being discussed today. I’m excited about the next session now. We’re discussing resolutions and solutions to many of the issues we’d debated and touched upon all through yesterday. These two days have got me thinking about so many things. I’d love to do this much more now. Learn, debate, discuss. I’d like to come back to this college in the future to study like all these didis here.”
Here’s hoping many more spaces open up to children who seldom lose the passion to thrive, learn and grow even while they work with limited resources!
Photo Credit: Santanu Sarma, CRY – Child Rights and You