Baruani - KidsRights
“Children are the heart of the refugee crisis"


Country of origin
Current country
South Africa
Baruani won the International Children's Peace Prize in 2009. He was born on the 15th of March in 1993. He is a Congolese citizen, but grew up in a refugee camp in Tanzania. Baruani is committed to the rights of child refugees and started a radio program in aid of it.

My name is Baruani and I fled my native country, Congo, because of the ongoing civil war. When rebels invaded our village, they set our house on fire and killed my parents. I was able to escape. After a long journey I, together with thousands of others, arrived at the Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania. Life was not easy in Nyarugusu as there was little to eat and a lot of (sexual) violence. A situation which is probably typical of life in a refugee camp anywhere. Growing up in a refugee camp is in fact growing up without a future. We received bad education and were hardly allowed to leave the camp. There was no chance to participate in the Tanzanian society.

The initiative
Many children in the camp had no idea of their parents' whereabouts. I wanted to help them in their search and thought to myself that the radio might do the trick. With very simple means I started a radio program called Sisi Kwa Sisi (children for children), through which many children have found their family again! I now live and study in Cape Town, South Africa and my radio program has been off the air for some time now. I’d like to help it get it restarted though. Over the radio we also discussed the problems, challenges and frustrations that children in a refugee camp run into on a daily basis.

Together we move the world 
My friends and I have  ensured that upon arrival in the Nyarugusu refugee camp, all children get the care they need. In South Africa, my current place of residence, I’ve started a project for children's rights at a school in Cape Town. With it I teach pupils about the rights of children, in particular the right to a name and nationality, and how important a birth certificate is for their future. 

My mission 
It is my greatest wish that children worldwide can make their voices heard, so that their rights will be respected. Let us, as young changemakers, take care of that!


Gender Equality
Aisshwarya’s GIRLS = BOYS Clubs
What is the problem? Aisshwarya is noticing a lot of inequality around her. Girls are not treated the same as boys. They are seen as the weaker gender, and have less rights to for example education, health care, work and decision making. This image is created with children early on, and is therefore difficult to change. As a result, girls have less opportunities to develop and to choose their own future. Aisshwarya wants this to change. What is Aisshwarya’s solution? Aisshwarya is convinced that the image of girls can be changed by education and awareness. That is why she wants to inform children and parents, and make them aware of the rights of girls. She will do this via weekly awareness classes with boys and girls between 12 and 18 years old, in two villages. Next to that, she will organize an activity were not only children, but also parents will be present. They will do an exercise in which objects will be discussed related to gender: does this object remind you of a boy or a girl? These associations will be discussed and broken through. They will also make and spread posters together. These posters will illustrate the rights of girls. Last, Aisshwarya wants to set up GIRLS = BOYS Clubs, in which the rights of girls are being discussed. In all three activities, discrimination and the impact of this on girls is the main topic. The aim is to let both children as parents see that boys and girls have equal rights. What is her goal?   Making boys, girls, and parents listen would already be a success. Aisshwarya’s GIRLS = BOYS project will be present in two villages, when this is expanded to more villages, Aisshwarya has made a big step. How does Aisshwarya work?  Aisshwarya is leading her project, and is getting support in this from a local organization that is also fighting for young people. The theme Aisshwarya is going to discuss is a sensitive topic in her community. That is why she is curious what the response will be, but she is assuming it will be fine. With the teaching equipment, the approach, and her knowledge, she can hopefully convince the children and their parents. Who does Aisshwarya need?   Aisshwarya needs her friends and the local organization to support her with setting up the activities.
José's ecological bank
What's the problem? José grew up in poverty. His classmates often came to school without breakfast and had no money to buy school supplies. Many children in José’s neighborhood could not even go to school. What is José's solution? José was 6 years old when his father taught him about money. How do you save? How do you spend it? What is the value of money? José saw that his classmates did not know how to deal with money. If they even had any. He therefore decided to set up an ecological bank for kids, using recyclable waste as payment. Kids collect and bring in their recyclable waste and José gives them money for it. He gets this money from organizations that collect the recyclable waste. This way, children learn to take care of the environment and they learn the value of money. The children can, for example, buy school supplies at José’s store. José also gives the students a microcredit, which is a small loan. This allows children to eat every day and go to school, even if their parents do not have money or are unemployed. Children and their parents pay José back in small amounts. In addition, José provides financial information. With this he teaches other children how to use money. What is the goal? Thanks to José's ecological bank, 2,500 children can now pay their school fees. His goal is to makes it 20,000 children. He hopes that children will have no money problems when they grow older, and do not have to live in poverty anymore. How does José work? José started saving money at an early age. This allowed him, with the help of his parents, to open a small shop. Kids could buy their school supplies here, not with money, but with recyclable waste. Later it became possible for children to exchange recyclable waste for money. José then deposited this money into their savings account. Who does José need? Recycling companies pay José money for the recyclable waste. He has special agreements with these organizations. He gets the highest price for the waste, so that he can save money with the kids. Students support José in different departments of his ecological bank. Such as finances, providing information and helping students. A children's committee that supervises and cooperates.
Chinrasu’s activities
What is the problem?  Chinrasu has seen how more and more children in his community drink alcohol. They start at a very young age, often when they are about 12 years old. Many of them consider alcohol to be a normal part of life because they see it in their community, in movies, and in commercials. Drinking alcohol is considered manly and cool and young people are influenced by this image. All too often, this results in alcoholism, especially among the children and youth of poor neighbourhoods. Few know about the negative effects of alcohol, like diminished concentration. Alcohol use has a big impact on the development of children. Chinrasu wants to change this and has decided to take action. What is Chinrasu’s solution? Chinrasu will organize three activities at his university: Activity 1 is a small festival held in April. The theme of the festival is a happy childhood and participants are made aware of the negative effects of addictive substances like alcohol. Activity 2 uses movies and exhibitions to raise awareness. It is held in May. Activity 3 is held in June and focusses on professional organizations that offer help to addicted children. The activities aim to make the participants aware of how bad addiction is and what the effects on their health and future are. What is the goal?  Chinrasu hopes that the 25 participants will understand the risks of addiction and refrain from using drugs and alcohol. He also wants children who are already addicted to participate and accept the professional help offered in activity 3 so that they can hopefully beat their addiction. How does Chinrasu work?  Chinrasu is the leader of the project. He thinks it will be difficult to get children and youths who are already addicted to participate in the activities. Who does Chinrasu need?   Friends, to help him with the activities Students and teachers, to attend the activities Local organizations, to support him and offer professional help to addicted youths What does he need?   Feedback on his project plan from KidsRights Materials to arrange the exhibition and play the movies
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