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Students from Red cross Development College, Sweden studying Children’s rights at Irente Institutions

 

Students and staff together with the Red Cross students Students from Red Cross Development College in Stockholm, Sweden have been visiting Irente Institutions during two weeks.
Cicilia Söderholm, Johanna Aronson and Patricia Sandell are students, attending a 1 year course called Youth of the World. For the last six weeks they have been travelling in East Africa visiting Red Cross in Kenya and the last 2 weeks these three students have done their practical work at Irente. Altogether there are 16 students all visiting different projects in Tanzania.

 

Cicilia, Johanna and Patricia have spent some time at the three institutions; Rainbow school, School for the blind children and Childrens home. They met the children, teacher other staff and parents and got a good insight how these institutions function.
The last week 4 workshops have taken place and have focused on Children’s rights and the Convention of the rights of the children. I attended one workshop for students and staff at the children’s home.
One workshop held at Rainbow school even included the parents.
Cicilia Söderholm, Johanna Aronson and Patricia Sandell

After briefly going through some of the articles in the Convention the participants had to take a stand if they agree or reject the statement. For example:

  • It is important for a child to go to school,
  • Everyone should be allowed to go school.
  • Disabled children have the same right as non disabled children.
  • It is important for a child to be able to play.
  • Children should be punished by going to jail.
  • It is ok to hit a child when misbehaving.
  • Girls have the same right as boys.
  • Taking care of the children is the woman’s work.

Some of these statements created a lot of discussions and comparison between the two countries Sweden and Tanzania.

Cicilia is highlighting artiicle  2 in the Convention of the rights of children

When I asked the Swedish students what they learnt from the visit at Irente and the workshop, Cicilia says We have seen here that children are happy for so few things. There is a feeling of a great happiness amongst the staff
Johanna says we have got a good insight into children’s day to day life. The institutions do a lot of good work and the activities are great.
Patricia concludes by saying we sometimes have different values, different upbringings and of course this plays a big role in how we treat children. We have heard that beating children is not the answer from the parents of disabled children but sometimes the teachers and other staff don’t see a problem with this.
Mama A Endemu, Head of the childrens home helping with translation Students from Red Cross development college in Sweden

Cicilia, Johanna and Patricia conclude by saying that there is a great hope for the future work at the Irente institutions as there are so many caring people involved.