in Europe

1st of June: My day, my rights


June 1, 2014, Tirana, Albania: International Children’s Day, 1st of June, is a very special day to honour children around the world. In Albania, the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, the State Agency for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, Unicef, World Vision, Save the Children, and Terre des hommes jointly organized an event to celebrate with Albanian children from all over the country.
The celebration took place at the National History Museum where children from different backgrounds and ages had fun with games, music, and dance. Children invited to the event were children participating in different programmes and interventions run by the contributing non-profit organizations. Terre de hommes invited vulnerable children supported by three of its projects: Migrant children or at risk of unsafe migration members of the Child Consultation Board in the framework of the MARIO Project; Returned children from EU countries supported by the AIDAH project and belonging to an Elbasan Roma community; and children living at the Emergency Transition Centre in Tufina.
These three groups of children participated actively and prepared different artistic works during the week previous to the event. An exhibition of the drawings, paintings and arts crafts made by children on the topic of children’s rights was displayed. A group of young volunteers trained by Terre des hommes as social animators organized games and playful activities with children. Videos with advocacy messages from children to policy-makers as well as their perceptions on Albanian children needs were projected. In addition, children participated in an open discussion with the Minister of Social Welfare and Youth, Mr. Erjon Veliaj, and the Vice-minister of Interior, Mrs. Elona Gjebrea. Children posed questions to these functionaries on topics such as education, child protection and governmental actions in favour of the Albanian childhood.
At the end of the event and with the objective to raise awareness on pending issues, the children of the MARIO Child Consultation Board performed a short theatre play representing the life of vulnerable migrant children who have to work in the streets to survive and the way these children are sometimes treated by the society and authorities. (AM)