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Children take the lead


November 20, 2012, Romania: On the occasion of the International Day on the Rights of the Child, 50 children took over professional jobs and became air-traffic controllers, journalists, ambassadors, actors, composers and… Country Representative for Terre des hommes in Romania.
For the first edition of ‘Ziua Stafetei’, Terre des hommes was inspired by a similar event that has taken place for the last five years in the United Kingdom. For a day or half a day, children take over a job they have chosen or have an ambition to do as an adult when finishing their education . Everything is then organised for them to live this experience fully: they take decisions, organise activities and give their opinion. The professional who is replaced acts as the child’s mentor for the day.
50 children aged 12 to 18 took part in this year’s event. Most of them were coming from different backgrounds: poor rural families, Roma families, children who dropped out of school or at risk of dropping out, refugees or asylum-seekers, children with disabilities, etc.
Bogdan, 18, was Terre des hommes’ delegate for a day. “It was a unique experience for me”, he said. Assisted by the Tdh team, he led a meeting, took part in two real job interviews, gave his opinion on an important document, signed a bank transfer for the field and answered several phone emergencies. His father, Viorel, was never far away in order to answer to his special needs.
Feeling very comfortable, Bogdan enjoyed every minute of it. “I took part in job interviews to hire an important staff member. I felt really useful today”. Ready to do it again, he took the experience seriously and wished to address a message to all the children celebrating the 20th of November: “Whatever the issues you encounter or the problems you have, never give up and fight. To the adults he said:“Put yourself in the shoes of the children. The laws must be adapted in this country”. Words worthy of a delegate!
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