How we’re working with and learning from youth

POSTED November 8, 2018

How we’re working with and learning from youth

Meet one teen who became CCFC’s country director in Paraguay for a day

By Rosanna Menchaca, communications manager, Paraguay

Teen holding T-shirt

New friends: (above) Diego, CCFC’s program manager in Paraguay, welcomes Cielo to the team for the day

Children’s rights are part of our daily work. We promote them in every single action, not only as employees of Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) but as part of our personal commitments.

This is why we participated in Plan’s #GirlsTakeOver campaign for the second consecutive year. The goal was to highlight opportunities for girls to participate in creating lasting change towards equality. With that in mind, girls from Paraguay and several other countries stepped into political, economic and social spaces to be presidents, directors, heads and more for the day.

“Many people my age say we cannot do great things, but today I proved we can, because age does not define ability or wisdom,” said Cielo, 15, after acting as CCFC country director for the day.

Cielo began her day assessing the facts to understand the reality of girls and women in Paraguay, delving into issues such as teen pregnancy, child labour and youth unemployment. Then she met with program, sponsorship, communication and administration teams before taking over the country director’s office. It was there she wrote recommendations related to children’s rights for our new Strategic Plan, which promotes gender equity.

She recommended:

  • greater participation of child and adolescent girls in sports, social, cultural and educational meetings
  • more support and interest from authorities towards protection of child and adolescent girls
  • greater awareness and guidance about the rights of child and adolescent girls
  • solutions to eradicate abuse of the rights of child and adolescent girls
  • educational meetings for adults about the rights of child and adolescent girls

This bright light, who dreams of joining the Military Academy while working as a marine biochemist, has the drive to reach her dreams. Today, she’s an active member in her community as part of the Association in Defense of the Rights of Children and Adolescents, a network of organizations supported by CCFC programs and partner organizations.

“I wish all girls and boys can fulfil their dreams — that they can live a happy decent life. I want to continue helping, even when I am an adult,” she told me with conviction.

We believe if Cielo and her peers keep moving forward they can all reach their dreams.

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Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60 years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.