From October 21 to November 02, 2013, in collaboration with the Burkina Faso AWCY National Coordination and in partnership with Enda Third World, Youth in Action, AMWCY held its 9th General Assembly on the theme: «let’s build peace everywhere and at all time».
The objective of the meeting was to assess the progress of children’s rights and the impacts of WCY’ activities and to set new directions for the Movement to continue children’s protection.
The meeting was attended by WCY delegations and facilitators from 26 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Chad, Tanzania, The Gambia, Togo and Zimbabwe.
The opening ceremony was presided over by the Ministry of the Civil Service, Labor and Social Security of Burkina Faso. AMWCY’s partners were also present: Plan, Save the Children, UNICEF, International Social Service, Terre des Hommes, GIZ, etc.
During two weeks of work, participants exchanged and shared experiences and knowledge on child rights, child protection, child participation, vocational training and employment for working children and youth.
They also organized workshops on child-related issues including: communication, vocational trainings/ IGA, organization and coordination, Child rights in particular the 12 rights of WCY, child protection and capitalization of WCY experiences on this matter. And initiation workshops on management (Application of the AMWCY’s Manual of procedures, IGA, ICT, Technics of comics production, Savings /credit.
The results emanating from the exchanges show that the AMWCY realizes both progress in the actions on child protection and in its expansion. As statistics show, the AMWCY continues to grow. With only 04 member countries at its creation in 1994, the AMWCY has this year (2013):
- 706 261 members and supporters;
- 212 314 members;
- 3481 grassroots groups in 340 associations in as many cities and villages in 26 countries in Africa. Among the 26 countries, 22 are organised into National Coordinations.
In addition to its continued expansion, the AMWCY achieved satisfactory results in its efforts to protect children. Indeed from villages to the city, the AMWCY - protects: 511 605 children and youth, - educates or make study 342 463 children and youth.
Thanks to the actions of AMWCY 369 334 children and youth work less or less hard, 460286 children and youth have more fun than before, - 425 359 children and youth better prepare their future.
These results were achieved thanks to communication, awareness raising and advocacy actions on child rights combined with preventive measures, support and socio-professional integration. Wherever they are organized into grassroots groups or association, WCY constitute a force of deterrence, thereby contributing to the reduction of abuse and exploitation of children and their integration into the mainstream education or literacy or still in vocational training.
It was also noted that the links are getting reinforced between WCY and grassroots communities on the one hand and between the WCY and actors or organization of civil society on the other hand. This is reflected by both the work in synergy that the WCY lead with partners or coalitions of NGOs in faveur of children and the involvement of more and more WCY in decision -making bodies at the local, national or regional level. Moreover, on the basis of their expertise on chil- related issues, some AMWCY’s members are consulted as resource persons on the rights of the child in the countries.
Today, the AMWCY’s strength lies in its organizational capacity and the constant renewal of generations. Indeed, communication and management have improved respectively by a better knowledge and understanding of ICT to which the WCY have access and the establishment of management committees in associations and national coordinations. In addition to this, the renewal of generations and gender equity have become a reality within the movement with nearly 72.6% of children and 55.8 % of girls.
The AMWCY’s efforts in terms of defense, protection and promotion of children are recognized and were crowned in November 2012 by obtaining the Observer status towards the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, of the African Union.
Based on the results from the work to continue the development of grassroots groups and the organization of AMWCY, participants at the meeting identified the following future plans for the next three years:
- To develop Grassroots Groups in communities in order to mobilize children for the defense of their rights – by helping the new groups to identify their problems and take action to solve them;
- To build stronger coordinations with permanences that encourage child participation;
- To train members in the use of the AMWCY’s manual of procedures for efficient resource management;
- To develop an annual increase of 50 000 members and 120 000 supporters in order to reach 1 000 000 within two years.
Note that the participants in the meeting made a visit to the zoo of Ziniare and visited His Majesty, Mogho Naaba, Emperor of the Mossi.
Also on October 29, 2013, the children from member countries of AMWCY that participated in the consultation of the World Bank on the projects it finances, participated in a virtual meeting via Skype to exchange with their friends in Asia on the outcomes of this consultation. Delegates from Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon and Ivory Coast have conversed with their friends in Asia specifically those from Cambodia, Vietnam, Yemen, etc.
During the panel on the protection of children on the move that preceded the closing ceremony, there was an interaction between WCY and partners on the pedagogical approach and mechanisms for child protection, intervention areas, actions of protection of children developed by WCY with the accession of several actors in this area.
The panelists stressed the need for the support of communities and authorities to achieve a common goal "to provide protection to all children." For this, they strongly emphasized the need to work with WCYAs in countries that are already doing many things but not enough known and recognized.
At the closing ceremony, the authorities and partners in attendance unanimously praised the AMWCY’s achievements in carrying out actions namely in terms of child protection and training of WCY to ensure them a better future. They also committed to support and/or continue to work in synergy with AMWCY, as long as they remain committed to their goal.