GOVERNMENT-UNICEF COOPERATION PROGRAMME 2004 ON ‘CHILD PARTICIPATION’
are not the cause of poverty, they are not responsible for widespread child
labour, nor are they the reason for failing education systems. It has been
adults who have created these problems. And it continues to be adults who make decisions about government policies, resource
allocation, and social priorities that perpetuate these problems.”
This is one familiar saying, which I’m sure many of us agree to. Even
as we enter the modern world, it cannot be justified that children are still one
way or another interpreted wrongly by some and not taken seriously, though
rightfully, it is us, the children who would determine the future.
support of child participation, our Malaysian Government, with the cooperation
of UNICEF organized an 8-day workshop, from the 12th till the 19th
of March, which called upon many children representatives of private and
government organizations, to the little town of Port Dickson.
YA Marisha, we departed from Kuala Lumpur together with many new faces. We were
briefed on the programme and of course, I was excited. We were to go through a
4-day workshop first, to fully understand the CRC and its concepts, and then, be
facilitators ourselves, to share our knowledge with other youth.
arrival at the Institute of FAMA, we quickly checked in and began our training.
Quite a formatted and direct subject matter, I was greatly impressed by the
approach the adult facilitators took, successfully broaching the CRC in a manner
that appealed to us teens. The workshop was divided into 16 sessions, a few
namely, CRC HISTORY, CRC IN A NUTSHELL (THE CONCEPTS), SURVIVAL, DEVELOPMENT,
PARTICIPATION and PROTECTION.
energizers, teambuilding activities, graphic recaps and presentations were
included to fully guide us through the subject matter, interactively. The
sessions on a whole, though long (each day from 9am-5pm), had managed to send
the message across creatively. What I truly appreciated was the fact that the
adult facilitators had clearly given their level best to share their knowledge
with us children, and at the same time was still open to receive constructive
it was our turn to take over. Divided into teams of three, we were to present
our understanding of the topic through mini-facilitation with the whole group
(around 18 of us) as practice. Each team was evaluated, and each speaker was
given constructive criticism and compliments. Spotting certain flaws in each, we
also went through very brief public speaking training by Uncle Bob, a member of
the TOASTMASTERS, to improve our facilitation.
the end of the 4 days “Train the Trainers” workshop, a sudden twist took
place, which was contrary to our initial assumptions of what was to be next on
the agenda. We were told that not all of us would be given the chance to
facilitate a new batch of youth from Negeri Sembilan in the next session. Youth
facilitators would be determined through voting on our earlier presentations
during the earlier workshop. Though a little surprised, I was confident I did a
fairly good job, what with the amount of effort put in. True enough, both
Marisha and I were in the list of top 3 facilitators.
the rest of the youth continued public speaking training, the 8 of us, chosen to
facilitate and moderate the programme for the incoming new batch of youth
proceeded to work hard at preparations. We carefully drafted out our lesson
plans and practiced.
next morning, the new batch of youth came in for the workshop, and I was glad to
see the amazing turn up. Around 20 youth attended, from many different
backgrounds and of different races. I was the first to present, along with
Danial from YAWA, and it was important that both of us set the right first
impression for the new participants. Excited, we gave our best and were glad to
receive fabulous response. As our turn ended, we handed the workshop over to the
next facilitators. I was delighted, but, my work wasn’t done, I had another 2
more sessions, and had to continue preparations.
the end of it all, all 38 of us sat in for the last workshop, to wrap everything
up. With a final look at the National Plan of Action, we decided within each
organization we came from to carry out activities, which would significantly
solve the issues relating children within our community, from then till
December, where another workshop of the same sort would take place as a follow
YA Sarah Chen