Child Voice

Sasha, 16 years old

«…in a children’s home a child might go down the line. All sorts of children are brought there. It’s better to live in a family. Life won’t be good in a shelter»

Youth Exchange Forum in the framework of Empowering Marginalised Children in the RF

Home2013April26 – Youth Exchange Forum in the framework of Empowering Marginalised Children in the RF

On April 23-25 we organised and carried out the Youth Exchange Forum in the framework of Empowering Marginalised Children in the RF. The event took place in Ekaterinburg. The Forum united several children groups: disabled children and children on probation from Ekaterinburg, candidates to foster families for future care leavers in conflict with the law and a young man released from the colony for minors from Orel, children living in children’s homes from Saint-Petersburg. The care leavers working for Core Assets, the largest Foster Care Agency in Great Britain, came to Russia to share their experience and inspire our children to overcome their difficult life situations and help other vulnerable children.

The participants spent three days together and exchanged their experiences, told how their opinions were and weren’t considered when decisions were made on their lives, shared what effective alternatives to custodial and suspended sentencing exist.

On the third day of the Forum the children presented their opinions and ideas to decision-makers of Yekaterinburg and mass media. The representatives of the Ministry for Social Policy of the Sverdlovsk Region, the Court and the Commission for Minors of Zheleznodorozhny District of Ekaterinburg, the Commission for Minors and Social Policy Department of Chkalovsky District of Ekaterinburg, and Ombudsman on the Child's Rights of the Sverdlovsk Region carefully listened to our children, worked with them in small groups and discussed their ideas and suggestions. It was indeed an exciting event which enthralled everybody! We are eager to continue our work and help these children to meet again and create their own movement to support more marginalised children in Russia.

In May disabled children from the children home Polyanka met with the Ombudsman on Child's Rights of the Sverdlovsk Region to tell him about their participation in our project and Youth Exchange Forum. They said that it would be great that both adults and other children would know their opinions on issues influencing their lives. The main  idea  the  project  participants were  talking  about during the meeting was about the need of establishing a children's  committee to discuss various issues important to children living in their children's home with the Director of the children's home.

In  June  the  other  group  of the project participants - children in conflict  with  the  law  -  met  with Advisor of Ombudsman on Child's Rights  of  the  Sverdlovsk  Region.  The teenagers told Advisor about effective, to their mind, alternatives to probation and talked about the need of establishing services to support their parents and specialists working with them. They also discussed shooting documentary to prevent crimes among teenagers.

To conclude the results of both meetings, we'd like to say that the children's suggestions have been caught on with Office of Ombudsman on Child's Rights of the Sverdlovsk Region and are to be developed by us. Every time we meet with these children it flashes our minds that their offers and observations should be definitely laid into the very basis of the social projects aimed to support them.

Is there any chance in Russia for charity?
Yes, there is.
Don't know
No, there isn't
What charity? There is nothing to eat for ourselves.
 
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