Gundem Cocuk Dernegi

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Gundem Cocuk Dernegi

Turkey
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

By opening up venues and spaces where children can directly participate and be active agents in decision-making processes at their schools, neighborhoods, cities or parliament, Emrah Kırımsoy’s Agenda Children seeks to do exactly what the name entails: to put children’s will and issues on Turkey’s busy agenda. In addition to empowering children for changemaking, Emrah seeks to change the public misconception that children are or should be passive beings when it comes to societal issues. To this end, she builds alliances between children’s NGOs, media and human rights experts to amplify children’s voices in strategically important areas.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Children make up close to one third of Turkey’s population, yet have very little opportunity to influence decisions affecting their present and future lives. Children also face widespread violations of their human rights. One in every three children lives in poverty and/or is a child worker; one in every six girls is a child bride, and many children live deprived of their rights to adequate education and health services. Despite widespread violence and abuse, children’s issues only make it to the public agenda when there is a crisis or scandal concerned. Handling children’s problems at the symptom level is also common among the government and civil society interventions, which remain charity oriented, reactive and blind to children’s real life experiences. Existing mechanisms to encourage children’s participation in decision-making processes (such as children’s councils at municipalities or children’s associations) have become empty shells. Institutions see them as a mere ticking the box exercise, while children find them unsuitable, forcing them to imitate grownups in their thinking and behavior.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Emrah Kırımsoy believes that if given the opportunity and right space, every child is able to create positive social change on every issue concerning their communities and society, from the new park in their neighborhood to the country’s new constitution. She also believes such experiences are necessary to empower children to be active, creative and critical individuals, both today and tomorrow. Based on this firm belief, Emrah and Agenda Children develop innovative processes and workshops that use informal education methods (such as games, simulations and puzzles) and enable children to form and verbalize their opinions, while also making them realize that they are individuals with rights in every area of life. Agenda Children runs children’s rights workshops and media workshops all year around in their offices in Ankara and Van, as well as more than ten cities across Turkey, in partnership with other children’s NGOs.