Neha - KidsRights
"Anyone can cry out. If we do it together, we will be heard."
Name

Neha

Country of origin
The United States
Current country
The United States
Age
23
Theme:
Neha won the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2014. She was born on the 23th of May in 1996 and lives in the United States. She is committed to the rights of vulnerable children and their right to participate in society. She is the founder of Empower Orphans.

I am Neha and I feel that every child deserves a chance to make something of his or her life. To gain self-confidence and to become somebody they are proud to be. I thought that this was obvious, until I stayed with my grandparents in India. I was 9 years old at the time and became friends with a girl in an orphanage. She had never been to school, just like all the other children there.     

The initiative

Back home in the United States, I organized a flea market to raise money for my friend and the other children in the orphanage. One year later, I returned to India with 5000 dollars. This was enough to pay for books, food, clothes, blankets and shoes. It was the start of my own organization - Empower Orphans, with which I continue to organize flea markets and other activities.   

Together we move the world

KidsRights supports me, as a changemaker, in my fight for the rights of vulnerable children and their right to participate. With Empower Orphans, I support children in both India and the United States. I encourage them to be socially active, by supporting Empower Orphans, or by starting up their own changemaking projects.   

My mission

I would like to convey to you that you too can change the world. The world is big, but if we  start somewhere we can also have a big impact. Let’s make it our responsibility as young changemakers together, to improve the chances of children, wherever they live.

Highlights

Child abuse
Karupuswamy’s parent meetings
What is the problem?  Karupuswamy sees too much emotional and/or physical abuse of children in his community. This are often parents hitting their children, to punish them when for example they have misbehaved. This form of abuse is seen as normal, as a result, no action is being taken against it. Children often don’t understand where the abuse is coming from, which can lead to confusion, insecurity, and stress. It has big consequences on the personal development of the children. What is Karupuswamy’s solution? Karupuswamy wants to educate parents about positive, and child friendly ways of punishing children when they have misbehaved. He also wants to open the discussion about the negative impact of the abuse that is currently used as a punishment. Parents often don’t know any better, their own parents raised them the same way. That is why it is important to show them that it is also possible to raise their children differently. Karupuswamy will organize weekly meetings with parents and their children, to look at the behavior of children and their needs. The other way around, he also wants to look at the behavior of parents and their expectations. In this way parents and children will learn to understand each other, so they can better adapt to each other. Next to that, he wants to organize a lecture for parents, in which they will learn more about positive and child friendly parenting. He wants to be supported with this by professionals, to make sure they can pass on enough knowledge together. What is the goal?  Karupuswamy’s goal will be achieved when parents will understand the negative consequences of violence against children, stop using it, and start raising their children in a more positive way. How does Karupuswamy work?  Karupuswamy is the project leader. He is starting his project by developing teaching material with his friends, like stickers and posters. He is curious about what the responses of the parents will be, as this has been a habit for years. Who does Karupuswamy need?   Young people that have the same opinion about violence against children as he does. Help of the local children’s rights organizations. Professionals that voluntarily want to help with passing on their knowledge. What does he need? A printer to print the teaching material.
Gender Equality
Sherneil's Social Media Campaign
What’s the problem?  On the Caribbean Islands, inequality between men and women in sports is increasing. The image that men are supposedly physically stronger, and have more knowledge about sports than women, is still present in Sherneil’s community. Sherneil believes that there cannot be any difference between men and women. Not in sports, not at work, and not in life. Women and men should be treated equally in all aspects. What is Sherneil’s solution? Sherneil’s project mainly exists of a social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, because she believes that via these platforms she can reach the most people. The campaign is focused on increasing awareness on the Caribbean about gender inequality in sports. Next to that, she wants to motivate her followers to push through, making sure they don’t quit. Sherneil is covering five subjects that each have a different goal. Posting facts about sportswomen & discrimination. With this she wants to motivate her followers to also take action on inequality. Quotes of women to inspire other women to chase their dreams and not give up. Women Featured Wednesdays, every Wednesday an article is uploaded on the website, featuring a sportswomen from the Caribbean. Sharing interesting articles about sportswomen, that were published by other channels. Articles about the issues that women are facing regarding sports. Next to the social media campaign she is organizing a gathering focused on inequality and faith. Various authorities will be present at the gathering, to start the conversation with Islamic women about the issues they see in the world of sports. What is the goal?  Sherneil aims to inform at least 400 people with campaign, about the inequality in sports. How does Sherneil work?  Sherneil will, as the founder of Supporting Girls In Sport, personally set up and execute the social media campaign. Who does Sherneil need?   Sherneil is getting help of her seven team members of Supporting Girls In Sports. They are helping her with writing and designing the social media posts and articles. What does she need?   For Sherneil’s campaign of course the internet and access to social media are essential. Next to that, the university where she is organizing the gatherings is very important.    
Health
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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