All countries in the region have signed up to various international agreements and commitments, from the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guaranteed free and compulsory elementary education, to the more recent Millennium Development and Education for All goals. Yet still after nearly sixty years of promises, many countries still have a long way to go, especially for girls.
Governments have adopted comprehensive national policies to meet these commitments, yet it is often the smaller, individual and group initiatives that can be more effective at a local level – reaching the hard-to-reach and helping to change community attitudes.
This is the basis of the Young Champions movement. Young people are more receptive to knowledge from their peers and celebrities, especially if presented in a ‘fun’ way, than they are to official policies. Ideal role models are ‘just normal people who have accomplished something.’
The young people selected for this Training of Trainers workshop are exactly such role models. All are already actively involved in working with their peers, advocating for children’s rights, providing help and advice on matters of importance to young people – and, most of all, spreading the word of education. Later they will go back to their countries and communities, and expand the movement with enriched ideas and the backing of UNGEI and UNICEF.