By Ángeles, CCFC former sponsored child, Paraguay
(Translated by Maria Ferreira, program officer, Paraguay)
It’s been a busy few months for Ángeles, a former sponsored child from Paraguay. This past fall, she attended a violence-prevention meeting in Ottawa, hosted on behalf of the World Health Organization and the Government of Canada. And, she’s just returned from a global meeting in Sweden. The 17-year-old attended the End Violence Solutions Summit with academics, civil-society organizations, private-sector leaders and government officials. (She even met the Queen of Sweden!, See below.)
Here Angie opens up about her impressions of this special trip — one she shared with Leticia, a peer from SOS Children’s Villages.
Leticia and I just returned home from meeting with youth from around the world to [discuss] violence against children and find solutions to address this problem.
We shared our experiences with leaders around the world. We talked about what has already been done. For example, in Paraguay I’m part of a national children’s network working to get politicians to sign 20 commitments to improve children’s lives. It’s important for world leaders and adults to listen to us and consider us in their decisions.
All the children’s delegations at the meeting agreed violence has to end and governments need to make a real commitment; we don’t just want words, we want strong actions. And, to have a real change, we’re willing to work with the leaders of our countries. We must do our part to make our world better.
In the three-day workshop before the summit, we worked hard to choose representatives to present our conclusions, share what we feel about cruel realities in our countries and the world and present our recommendations for the leaders of the world
(Editor’s note: The youth recommended investing in child-protection systems, education and healthcare, creating a global children’s council and more).
Angie and other youth participants meet with the Queen of Sweden.
I’m very happy and have lots of hope, because young people are no longer being silenced.
We have the right to be heard and the opportunity to be the voice of children who are afraid — children who migrated from their countries because of conflicts or who cannot raise their voice loud enough to be heard.
And, there was a real commitment from 17 countries to eliminate violence against children globally, sooner rather than later. I don’t think they’re just words. This event made me realize change is possible.
I believe violence can be stopped, maybe not today or tomorrow or maybe not for me, but for generations to come — for my children, for the children who will come.
I will work with other children of the world to [make change], and the governments and other leaders I know will do it, too. Will you help?
Visit CCFC’s Facebook page for Angie’s trip album.
This blog originally appeared on the website of CCFC.
About Christian Children’s Fund of Canada:
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-centred international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For nearly 60 years, CCFC has worked with children, communities, donors and other partners — changing lives through improved health, education and clean water. CCFC works in 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas, to support more than 700,000 children, youth and community members