Chaeli - KidsRights
"People with disabilities have the same rights and needs as everyone else. My mission is to spread this message around the world”
Name

Chaeli

Country of origin
South Africa
Current country
South Africa
Age
25
Theme:
Chaeli was born on the 30th of August 1994 and lives in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2011, she won the International Children’s Peace Prize. She established The Chaeli Campaign, committed to the rights of disabled children.

I'm Chaeli and I was born with cerebral palsy, which means that I haven´t got the full use of my limbs. Sometimes I´m being excluded because of my disability. This doesn’t only happen to me, it happens to many others, but unlike them, I don't hesitate to raise my voice when I’m being shut out. I´m an activist. 

The initiative

I was 9 years old when I found out that a motorized wheelchair would offer me freedom and independence. Such a vehicle costs a lot of money though, and to be able to buy one, my sister, three friends and I started a fund-raising campaign. That’s because I always think in possibilities, not in restrictions. In just 7 weeks, we collected the necessary amount of money. So we thought, why not collect money to pay for aid devices for other children with disabilities too? This marked the start of The Chaeli Campaign.   

Together we move the world

KidsRights supports me, as a changemaker, in my struggle for the rights of disabled children. The Chaeli Campaign has a global reach now. We make sure that children with physical disabilities have the necessary resources. In addition to this, we stand up for the rights of children with disabilities, to make sure that none of them are left out.  

My mission

With the “Pay-It-Forward Ambassadors” project, we teach children communication, leadership, and network skills, so they can make positive changes in their own communities.  You too, as a changemaker, can move the world. Start with yourself or your neighborhood!

Highlights

Violence
Raphael for safe schools
What is the problem?  Too many school-going children in Raphael’s surroundings experience violence at school. It is quite exceptional if a student has not been a victim of violence at school. Violence at schools and the students’ fear of attending school have huge consequences; school results decline and children dare not go to school anymore. School should be a safe place, where children and young people can study without fear of (sexual) violence or bullying. What is Raphael’s solution? A Writing and drawing competition for students under the theme: The school I want. In this way students can describe what a safe school means to them and how they can tackle violence. The best stories can be used to draw attention to safer schools. Raphael would also like to organize a training for teachers on how one can punish students without using violence. This training lasts three days and is developed by the children’s rights organization where Raphael is doing his internship. They will also help in giving the training courses. Finally, Raphael will lead discussions between students and teachers in a pleasant and safe surrounding, so that they can discuss the ways to stop the violence. Students can also come in contact with each other to get to know each other better and learn to respect each other’s cultures. In this way Raphael hopes that bullying will be stopped. What is the goal? The goal is to carry out the project in 2 primary schools and 3 secondary schools in Raphael’s village in Tanzania. He hopes that 40 teachers and 1000 students will take part. Raphael’s project will be successful if more students go back to school, more students further their studies and no more violence will occur. How will Raphael work?  Raphael will focus on contacting people who can help him with his project. He will approach those who can sponsor his project or those who have the same goal as he does. He would also like to plan weekly evaluations with the people who work with him on his project, so that he can make sure that everything is going as planned. He expects that it will be a challenge changing the behaviour of teachers and the punishments they carry out. They have been used to this and doing it for years. Who does Raphael need?   The children’s rights organization, where he is doing his internship, is helping him to set up the project and is giving the professional training sessions to teachers. Raphael has also been a member of a youth council for years and the members of this council will also help. What does Raphael need?   Contact with other changemakers who are doing the same. If they can share their experience and knowledge, they can make the world a better place together.
Violence
Luc’s training against parental violence
What is the problem? Luc has seen how parents often use violence while raising their children. Every family is different of course, but in many cases, children receive severe punishment when they misbehave. They are hit, cursed at, or taken from school and put to work. Luc thinks these punishments are too severe and has decided to take action. Wat is Luc’s solution? Luc will hold training sessions and group discussions with parents, teachers, local leaders and children present. He wants to make them aware of children’s rights and promote a more constructive way of raising children with reasonable punishment. During the training, parents will be taught nonviolent ways to correct children when they misbehave. The topic of the group discussions will be the behavior of children and youths. The participants will discuss behavior that can be improved and constructive ways to improve it. Luc will also support children who receive very severe punishments. He will be aided by an already established program in this endeavor. What is the goal? The goal is to end corporal punishment. He also wants participants to acknowledge and respect children’s rights and for parents to change their perspective on the development of their children. How does Luc work? Luc will plan, organize and lead the group discussion and training. He wants to involve as many young people from his community as possible in his project but foresees problems. Raising the money and finding teaching material will also be a challenge. What does Luc need? Luc needs teaching material and a location to hold the training and workshop. Who does he need? The students from the Youth Advocacy Team will help Luc execute his project. Read more about the youth team Luc is a member of. Luc would also like to receive help from local organizations concerned with children’s rights and wants to find other changemakers through KidsRights. He hopes they can learn from each other.
Environment
Replacing trees with Sathiya
What is the problem? The earth belongs to everyone. It belongs to humans, but also to insects, birds, fish, and animals. According to Sathiya, people act like the earth belongs only to them. This causes many problems for the environment and therefore this has to change.  In the area where Sathiya lives, people plant trees that are alien to the region. These cause harm to the environment and especially to the water sources. Surrounding villages have to deal with contaminated water and this is harmful to both humans and animals. This is where Sathiya will try to make a change.  What is Sathiya’s solution? Sathiya will start by spreading information about the harmful trees. In May, he and five other young people will travel to two nearby villages to inform the population about the harmful effects of the dangerous trees. Hopefully, the people will understand that these trees have to be removed. In July, Sathiya and a group of enthusiastic children, youths and adults will remove the alien trees and replace them with trees that naturally grow in the region, and which won’t cause harm to the environment. What is the goal? The goal is to remove all alien trees and replace them with indigenous ones. Sathiya also hopes that his message will get through to people and that in the future they will be more considerate towards the environment. He hopes that his message will reach at least half of all families in the area. How does Sathiya work?  Sathiya leads the project along with five other youths. He thinks it will be a challenge to plan everything out, especially because he is busy with work. Who does Sathiya need?   ·         Local organization, to support his project. He has already approached these organizations. What does Sathiya need?   ·         Feedback on his plan from KidsRights ·         More information on the environment ·         Help with expanding his project ·         The knowledge and experience of other changemakers. How did they approach their project and what did they learn?
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