ISHU- Emerging Child Champion
15 years old Ishu is a child club member. Ishu has been engaged as the chairperson of a ward level child club since last year. Her child club conducts various activities to raise awareness in the community. Be it child marriage, COVID-19, child protection or any other issue affecting children in the community, her child club meets, plans, and conducts fun and informative activities like community drama, rallies, etc.
Though they focus on adopting a fun approach, they do not hesitate to take the serious path if needed. For example, when their fun approach did not work to prevent child marriages in the community, they coordinated with the Ward Child Rights Council (WCRC), police, teachers, and other authorities to make sure that all the marriages happening in their community are done after the bride and groom reach the appropriate age. “Community members used to threaten us but as campaigners, we did not give up and continued our work. We consult the bride and groom's family about the effects of child marriage on their children’s future, dreams, and health, via phone and household visits,” says Ishu.
This year Ishu’s child club was also able to lobby with the ward office for the allocation of 50 thousand rupees as child welfare fund. They conducted Baal Bhelas and Baal Kachaharis (child assembly) to influence the ward office. Ishu wants to continue raising her voice for the betterment of children. "I want to pursue law and advocate for the rights of children,” she shares her dream. Like Ishu, child champions have been actively advocating and campaigning for the rights of children and protection issues. They are the heroes as well as change agents who play a vital role in changing and transforming the lives of people in the community.
Save the Children and local partners in Karnali, is collaborating with over 80 child champions like Ishu from the working wards of five rural municipalities with the aim of supporting them to be the change agents in their communities. The child champions are provided with platform, opportunities, and support to hone their skills and knowledge so that they can advocate against violence, abuse, child marriage and other issues concerning children in Karnali province.
The champions learn transferable life skills, social and communication skills, and higher-order thinking skills. The sessions help in stimulating creative ideas for child-led advocacy initiatives through issue mapping, visioning exercise, SWOT analysis, and developing advocacy action plans, to make them able to advocate for themselves and others.