Kowsalya - KidsRights
“Environment protection is a key factor for upholding children’s rights”.
Name

Kowsalya

Country of origin
India
Current country
India
Age
20
Theme:

Kowsalya studies and lives in India, where she has been fighting for children and for the environment for years. She started with this when she cooperated in several training programs for children, which made her see the problems that children are facing.

Later she also took action for the environment, by setting up Eco-Clubs and participating in theater games. She wants to pass on to other children and young people how important it is to protect our earth.

It is Kowsalya’s dream to get every city free of plastic bags & parthenium plants. Want to know why? Click here to read more about her project!

Highlights

Child marriage
Sazeda's Youth Groups
What’s the problem? Child marriage is a custom that is widely spread throughout Bangladesh, where Sazeda is from. It is a custom which creates a great number of limits for girls and for the fulfillment of their rights. For instance, many girls marrying as children drop out of school as a consequence. Especially in Sazeda’s region there are high odds for child marriage. UNICEF estimates that victims of this custom are around 59% of the population. What is Sazeda’s solution? In order to stop child marriage, Sazeda is planning on doing a number of activities. The activities are directed at increasing girls’ self-dependency, which can be achieved primarily through education. For starters, she wants to form youth groups to raise the awareness of children on child marriage. The Youth Group Activity will take place in the form of group session, where there will be 20 peer educators to lead the sessions, for three hours a day for three days. These group sessions are meant for both girls and boys. In this way, Sazeda wants to transfer knowledge and skills. She hopes that they will understand the negative consequences of child marriage and change their behavior. Another planned activity are to held the group sessions on child marriage in the schools. Those school sessions will take place once a month for two months. Spreading this message at the place, that, more than any, has the power to combat this custom, has a crucial value for Sazeda. What is Sazeda’s goal? Sazeda’s goal is to decrease the rate of child marriage among girls. She wants girls to continue their education and to not drop out of school in case of early marriage. In this way, their self-dependency will increase. How does Sazeda work? Sazeda will lead her project. She fiercely believes in the participation of other children to implement her project plans, and aims at strong youth capacity building. Sazeda is convinced, that spreading knowledge about the consequences of child marriage is essential to stop this custom. This is why the starting point of her activities is in schools and involves the participation of other children. What does Sazeda need? In order to share her message and educate children on the topic of child marriage, Sazeda needs: training and sessions materials, such as posters, markers, art paper, books, writing pads, pens, flash cards and modules Theater materials, for the Theater for Development, such as costumes and music materials Who does she need? Sazeda needs the participation and endorsement of her project by other children. Also, she needs adults believing in her cause that allow their children to participate in her activities. As well, Sazeda needs people to help her in mobilizing resources for her projects.
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?
Disabilities
Aznova's Inclusion Workshops
What is the problem? Barguna in Bangladesh, where Aznova is from, is a cyclone prone area and thus vulnerable to natural disasters. It does not offer inclusive disaster risk reduction initiatives for disabled people, who are much more at risk when disasters occur. Also, the education system is not inclusive and disabled children are left behind. People view disabled children as a burden of the family or community in general and as a result, disabled children have no proper access to services. What is Aznova’s solution? Aznova wants to provide disabled children with quality education and disaster risk reduction measures as well. She wants to raise awareness and change the public opinion on these two issues. She plans on doing this through a number of workshops and counselling sessions. The participants of these workshops would be the disabled children, their parents, the community’s youth, local journalists and members of the local government. During the workshop, she wants to empower disabled children to become role models in the community to show that every child has power and rights. Aznova wants children within her region to get organized as leaders and mobilize the community in favour of disabled children. Also, Aznova plans on having information sessions with disabled children and their parents to educate them that disability should not be seen as a burden on the family. What is Aznova’s goal? Aznova’s goal is that disabled children are seen as actual right-holding individuals, that are respected and adequately cared for appropriately to their condition. She thinks that her project will be successful once disabled children will no longer be undermined or discriminated against in her region. Aznova’s other goal is that community leaders, service providers and local authorities realize the importance of serving disabled children and giving them adequate access to services like education, disabled-friendly infrastructure and cyclone shelters and adequate health services. How does Aznova work? Aznova plans on leading her project, but strongly counts on the involvement and participation of other children. She will coordinate the projects and cooperate with other children to achieve its success. What does Aznova need? Disabled-children friendly materials to play and learn Who does Aznova need? In order to implement her projects, Aznova will need support from professionals on disability issues to give disabled children their needed support and that respect their rights fully. Also, she needs the participation of (disabled) children and their parents.
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