Our resident Young Parlimentarian, 15 year-old Souad at Centre Amane, participated in another multi-day national training for her position. It was hosted by UNICEF in Rabat on 25 January at the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention of the Rights of a Child and also under the patronage of King Mohamed VI and the president of the National Observatory of Child’s Rights, Princess Lalla Meryem.
During the first day, each child presented their projects between themselves without the committee, with the aim of exchanging ideas and making friends. The committee had printed a toolkit including 1-page briefs of each of the young parliamentarians’ projects.
Souad spoke about her project to open a pre-school without tuition costs for its pupils in her neighbourhood in Taroudannt â a neighbourhood where a lot of children live in difficult circumstances, including many of the children with whom we work at Centre Amane. Souad was happy to participate and share her observations that inspired her to propose this project. She said that every day when she leaves and returns from school, she is struck by how many children she finds hanging in the streets of her neighbourhood, wearing dirty clothes and displaying aggressive behaviour. She hopes to open a pre-school and crÃªche for the youngest of these children funded by the government and with the consultation of Centre Amane; a service based on the model at Centre Amane.
On the second day, the hosts showed a film that presented the actions of the National Observatory of Child Rights in Morocco to improve child rights. This was followed by presentations on the third protocol of human rights and working with the NGO sector, as well as presentations given by the princess and ministers of relevant government departments. Two conventions were also signed by the National Observatory of Child Rights between the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Women’s Development. This prompted discussion on the role of the National Observatory of Child Rights in terms of safeguarding children’s rights.
One of our social workers, Touria, who accompanied Souad for the training said that all of the young parliamentarians learned about their rights under Moroccan human rights law; however, the main problem is that there are many children living in Morocco who don’t benefit from these rights.
Quote from the day (in French)
“Ce qui importe, ce n’est pas le monde que nous laisserons Ã nous enfants, mais plutot les enfants que nous laisseront Ã ce monde” S.A.R la Princesse Lalla Meryem.
PrÃ©sidente de l’observatoire National des Droits de l’Enfant, Princesse Lalla Meryem
Touria also commented that overall it was a wonderful experience for Souad, who met other children in similar situations as her but living in other parts of the country. Souad said that even if she can’t achieve her project, her role has already proven to be a very useful and enlightening experience to meet the other young parliamentarians and learn from people in power like Princess Lalla Meryem, the ministers and other heads of administrations.
Souad’s mother, who works at Centre Amane, said that all of Souad’s brothers and sisters took delight in watching the national news on television, looking for Souad in the coverage of the event!