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Training programmes and campaigns focus on child rights as human rights
By John Tharakan
Hyderabad, Nov. 9. ''Child Rights are Human Rights, and dear Children, we care for you!'' This was the focus of a series of training programmes and publicity campaigns conducted during the first week of November at Don Bosco Navajeevan, Hyderabad. These included the Hub level training for the web application HLK-ChildMISS, Human Rights Education for government school teachers, and the release of posters and T-shirts for the Child Safety Net Campaign.These programmes took place in the context of the 25th year of the approval of the UN Convention on Child Rights (1989-2014).
The ChildMISS training and participants. Children pose with Fr Fabio Attard and the DBYA-South Asia Team
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Seventeen Child Rights Activists had a three day advanced training programme from 5 to 7 November on the web application www.childmiss.net . Last year efforts were made to enter relevant data on children contacted in our work on behalf of them. After having gone through the hassles of struggling with the alpha and beta versions of the application, the results of hard work during the past year was very evident. The application is now running smoothly and the participants were clear about the flow of the programme.

Working on the data available, the participants started generating different reports about the type of children we reach out to, their needs and the various services that could be offered to them. The data generated can be analyed regarding the situation of children who are being served. The preliminary data for the year covers about 4000 children. The participants who included the Node Directors as well as the Node Coordinators and their collaborators became very enthused when the monotonous data was converted into excel spreadsheets or illustrations, and exciting presentations. Fr Joe Prabhu and Mr Austin Francis guided the hands-on training process along with Mr Bolleddu Sudhakar, the Hub Coordinator of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

While the training programme on the web application was going on, Fr Thomas Pallithanam from the People's Action for Rural Awakening (PARA), Ravulapalem and his team launched the Human Rights Education (HRE) for Telangana State, a programme conducted in collaboration with the State Education Department. This was the first of a series of training programmes involving teachers of Telangana State.

The training programme was a very adventurous journey with the teachers having so many doubts about the need, possibility and the realisation of a shift from the teacher oriented education to the child focussed education. These senior teachers present volunteered to take up Human Rights Education in addition to their routine duties. They have expressed their willingness to look at their life with children from the new perspective, starting from the side of the children. They have seen the need for the participation of children in the process, particularly through the formation of Child Rights Clubs.They have also expressed their willingness to make their district and their city Child Friendly.

Their campaign for Child Safety Net will link their schools with the local community, families of the children and a peoples' movement. The Dalit Bahujan Shramik Union that was having their executive committee meeting at the same time, met the teachers and agreed to evolve a common action plan for the participation of the communities in the school neighbourhoods along with Mr Ambedkar, the HRE coordinator for Ranga Reddy District.
 
The week was also very special for the Salesians with the presence of the entire Youth Ministry Team of South Asia together with Fr Fabio Attard, General Councillor at the Provincial House. They paid a visit to Navajeevan on 3 November. It was an opportunity to invite the Salesian Youth workers to join the campaign for child rights and Human Rights Education.

Oota, the Provincial Centre for Psycho-Social Services facilitated the various interactions of these events. The campaign materials such as the T-shirts with child rights slogans and the poster on Child Safety Net attracted the attention of all, particularly the teachers.
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