Ongoing Workshops – 28th July-1st August

The following workshops ran from the 28th July to the 1st August, four sessions of 90 minutes. (There were no workshops on the 29th July). CATS workshops are designed for a mixed public of adults and children (11 upwards).

Each workshop directly contributes as a capacity building opportunity imparting both theory and a high percentage of practical tools to our global theme for 2014: Young advocates for change. They are all highly interactive and include experiential methodology. Most workshops were jointly facilitated by an adult and a youth. Parallel to the six workshops there were 3 committees also open to both adults and children, which were an alternative choice.

Workshop A: Introducing a practical toolkit to monitor and evaluate the scope, quality and outcomes of children’s participation

The workshop was an interactive experience offering an introduction to the Toolkit and enabling children, young people and adults to try out the participatory tools it provides to monitor and evaluate children’s participation. The Toolkit on monitoring and evaluating children’s participation is a new inter-agency resource published by Concerned for Working Children, Plan International, Save the Children, UNICEF and World Vision. It has been developed in partnership with child led organisations, local and international NGOs in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The workshop enabled participants to become familiar with key frameworks, participatory tools and guidance prepared by adults and young people to more meaningfully involve children, young people and adults in monitoring and evaluating the scope, quality and outcomes of children’s participation. The toolkit helped participants gather evidence to demonstrate the benefits of involving children and young people as change agents, activists and advocates. In addition, the toolkit includes frameworks and tools to measure government efforts to create a respectful environment for children’s participation.

Gerison Lansdown was the founder director of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England, and is now an international children’s rights consultant and advocate who has published and lectured widely on the subject of children’s rights. She is a visiting scholar at Queen’s University, Belfast, a senior associate of the International Institute for Child Rights and Development in Victoria, and Chair of the Child to Child. Publications include: The Evolving Capacities of the Child, UNICEF, 2005; Every Child’s Right to be Heard: A Resource Guide on the UNCRC General Comment 12, Save the Children/UNICEF, 2011; Take US Seriously, Engaging children with Disabilities in Decisions Affecting their Lives, UNICEF, 2013

Claire O’Kane has 19 years of international experience in child rights, participation, protection, care and peace building work in  development  and  emergency  contexts, particularly in Asia and Africa. She worked with Save the Children for many years, but since 2011 has been an international child rights consultant. Claire has particular expertise in supporting child led organisations, networks and partnerships with adults enabling children and young people to be recognised as active citizens. She has 50 publications including: Guidelines for children’s participation in humanitarian programming, Save the Children 2013; Children and Young People as Citizens: Partners for Social Change, Save the Children, 2003

Workshop B: Being the Change in Making the Change

In this workshop, participants explored, practiced, and enhanced capacities for linking their individual intentions to the ideas and actions for which they are advocating, in order to strengthen the effectiveness of the group action.

The premise of the workshop is that group advocacy efforts are most effective when individual change makers understand how to contribute their particular talents, passions, and skills to the group action.

Participants (children and adults) learnt an enquiry process based on the Learning for Well-being Framework that allows them to explore their personal connection to the group endeavour, build authentic relationships with each other, and engage themselves – individually and collectively – in their shared initiative in the most effective and sustainable manner.

Although the workshop was specifically for CATS 2014, it is based on principles and exercises that have been tested with diverse age and cultural groups. The activities invited participants to not only use their “head”, but also their “heart” and senses.

Linda O’Toole brings over 30 years of experience in the human development field to her work with UEF and the Learning for Well-being initiative. Her professional experience has been as an explorer and illuminator of the multiple ways perception and communication function within and between people. Her approach involves a whole system perspective, which integrates the cognitive, emotional, and sensory functions, including the imaginative and intuitive senses.

Ted Simonds is a seventeen year old student studying the International Baccalaureate Diploma in Conwy; North Wales. Ted has a first-hand involvement in many areas of participation; as a member of his regional youth council, he is an elected member on the Grand Council of Funky Dragon (the national participation forum for Wales).

Luis Manuel Pinto works for the Universal Education Foundation and Learning for Well-being partnership. Initially trained in primary school education, he later focused his work in youth work development and non-formal education. In this context, Luis developed and coordinated the implementation of several programmes using peer education to address issues of diversity, with an emphasis on themes such as learning and communication differences and gender and religious dimensions of identity.

Workshop C: The Child to Child approach to Advocacy

The Child to Child approach is a rights-based approach, through which children advocate with other children and their communities to take charge of their own development.

The workshop will explore how children advocate within – and for – their communities to assert their rights to good health, education, equity for marginalised groups and their own well-being. Here, ‘’well-being’ includes social, psychological, educational, health and a sense of safety and protection.

Drawing on experience, tools and resources developed over thirty years in over seventy low-income countries and low-income contexts,, the workshop will take participants through the principles underlying the Child-to-Child approach to advocacy, and provide examples of practice.  Through a combination of case studies, practical exercises (involving work with the wider Caux participants during the five days) and a sharing of the tools of advocacy, participants will share their own rich experiences, exchange ideas, strategies and tools to enhance their work on children as advocates. The workshop will equip them with practical tools developed by Child to Child which can be used, adapted and extended to meet the realities of the participants own work.

The first two days will be spent becoming familiar with the Child to Child approach, application and the tools and resources. The next day will allow participants to prepare an aspect of the approach and try it on each other. Children and young people will be welcome to join the workshop from Day 1 to ensure ongoing and joint discussions between children and adult participants on their perspectives /ideas on the approach and its efficacy.   A participatory approach will provide the central focus, both framing and grounding the activities.  In the spirit of Child to Child, an element of fun will be liberally sprinkled throughout this workshop.

Christiana Brown the Programmes Manager of the Child-to-Child Trust has a strong background in health education. She has worked in international and community development for over 20 years and has expertise in children’s participation. She is committed to providing technical support to development agencies and practitioners to develop; implement and monitor children’s participation in health, education and development programmes. She co-ordinated the Trust’s global ECD initiative known as Getting Ready for School (GRS) jointly with UNICEF. This initiative was piloted in six countries in different geographic locations worldwide from 2007-2010 and is currently being implemented in Sierra Leone. The GRS programme promotes the participation of   older children in providing better access, retention and improved performance in primary education for younger children in poor resourced countries with limited or no early years’ provision.

Carolyn Conway has extensive teaching and training experience in a variety of settings and has written textbooks used by students and teachers in Bangladesh and Laos. She has worked on a number of adult and children’s participation initiatives in SE Asia and the UK. She recently began work with the Child-to-Child Trust managing the Hearing All Voices project to promote inclusion of refugee and asylum seeking students.  She is currently designing a competency-based curriculum for Child-to-Child facilitators and developing a professional development course to support adults to adopt participatory approaches in secondary schools in London.

Workshop D: Children’s Republic – Children’s Advocacy

The workshop dealt with Korczak’s educational legacy, focusing on his outlook to the importance of the capability of the child to defend himself. Korczak believed that through good educating of the child it is possible to prepare him/her to an awareness for his rights and to give him/her the tools to secure them. Korczak’s thoughts, ideas and outlook on educating are essential elements for better preparation for life skills.

The workshop explored various dimensions of Korczak’s methods and tools with particular reference to the importance of relating to each individual as a unique person. The workshop was interactive conveying the message of meaningful ways of coping highlighted by rights of the child as is depicted in the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and through quotes from the writings and work experience of the great Polish Jewish pedagogue, Dr. Henryk Goldszmidt, better known by his pseudonym – Janusz Korczak.

Dr. Avi Tsur: Supervisor of English language studies at the Ministry of Education’s Administration for Rural Education and Youth Immigration; board member of the International Janusz Korczak Association and “The Janusz Korczak Educational Institute of Israel”. PhD (2005) based on “The School Newspaper in the Spirit of Janusz Korczak”, constantly investigating Korczak’s educational legacy and developing programmes for implementation in the Israeli school system and society. Lecturer at Lewinsky Teacher’s College: Methodology course – “Implementing the Educational Legacy of Janusz Korczak”. Guest lecturer in Israel and abroad.

Batia Gilad: Chairperson of the International Janusz Korczak Association; an academic counsellor at the “Avichail” experimental school; and a member of “The Janusz Korczak Educational Institute of Israel”. For many years an educator and home-room teacher in the Israeli High School system and pedagogical director. For the past 30 years involved in documenting memories and artefacts of Korczak’s graduates, constantly investigating Korczak’s educational legacy and developing programmes for implementation in the Israeli school system and society.

Workshop E: Tools for Strengthening Our Child and Adult Organisations to Become More Inclusive, Transparent, and Fair

Children and young people are organising themselves in groups, clubs, and associations. Through their organisations children gain collective strength and are more able to assert their rights and become effective activists and advocates. The Article 15 Project is a global partnership that supports children’s capacities to self-organize and develops tools for children’s organizations to reflect on their internal group management–for example, how they make decisions, elect leaders, and partner with adults.  The project’s name, Article 15, refers to the fifteenth article of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child—children’s freedom to meet together and their right to form groups. Children’s organizations and adult’s organizations alike continually look for ways to improve their work. This goal should include looking at their internal group practices and strengthening themselves to be the most democratic and participatory group they can be.

In this interactive workshop, participants will learn and use three of over 20 tools in the Article 15 Resource Kit: 1) Organizational Diagram, 2) Decision-Making Chart, and 3) Inclusion Circle. Workshop participants will reflect on their own organizations and will analyze issues of inclusiveness, transparency, and fairness in the communication and decision-making among group members and across demographics of gender, age, ability, and social status. Through each activity, participants will have opportunities to share about their organizations and, by the end of week, will be able to facilitate the same activities with members of their groups back home. Step-by-step instructions for all the tools in the Article 15 Resource Kit are available at

Bijan Kimiagar is a researcher with the Children’s Environments Research Group (CERG) and Ph.D. Candidate in Environmental Psychology at the City University of New York, Graduate Center. Using a critical and participatory approach, Bijan’s research concerns strengthening young people’s engagement in resolving global social and environmental injustices. As a research associate with CERG, he has collaborated with children’s organization in Latin America, South Asia, West Africa, and the Middle East. This research explores the internal decision-making structures of children’s membership organizations around the world, and how each structure improves or diminishes trust, collaboration, and communication among group members.

Leigh Shebanie McCallen is a research fellow at the Center for Teaching and Learning at Queens College and a doctoral candidate in Educational Psychology at the Graduate Center, both campuses of the City University of New York. Leigh has studied the role of school-based wellness and academic stress in childhood. Her current research focuses on ecological approaches to learning, development, and instruction in the service of educational justice, including resilience and support in young people’s transition into higher education. Leigh has taught courses in child and youth psychology, teacher education, and applied research with children.

Workshop F: Peer Training for Social Action

For 15 years, the European Peer Training Organisation (EPTO) has been encouraging young people and education professionals to: take responsibility towards prejudice and all forms of discrimination; lead awareness raising activities that question stereotypes and become active against exclusion in their organisations, schools and society.French with possibility of English translation

The workshop was built on EPTO’s pedagogical process which enables participants to:

  • Become aware of personal and cultural identity
  • Recognise own prejudices and stereotypes
  • Develop critical thinking
  • Recognise discrimination in all forms
  • Develop empathy and communication skills
  • Explore strategies for social action and creating inclusive environments
  • Develop competences in leadership and self-advocacy

The workshop helped discover through practice how young people can use peer training as a way to engage and participate in society and act on issues that affect them directly.

The workshop was facilitated in partnership between adults working at European level and young peer trainers from the organisation AMO Reliance (Visé, Belgium) – bridging the European with the local perspective in a cooperation between older and younger generations.

Gary Diderich has been working in social and political engagement on the local and international level since 1998, and has contributed to establishing numerous associative projects and campaigns. Since 2001 he has been a peer educator against discrimination, and became a professional trainer in this field in 2005. Since then he has been involved at EPTO (European peer training ogranisation) and is currently the President of the European association. He has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Luxembourg in European Culture (with a focus on philosophy). Since 2004, he works for 4motion, where he is a founding member, and coordinates projects on citizens participation, develops pilot projects and training in the field of Education for risks.

Christophe Parthoens is the Director of the local organisation  AMO Reliance who works on the inclusion and well-being of children in the town of Visé, Belgium. Christophe has a vast experience in developing local peer training projects with children in underprivileged circumstances such as out-of-school children, young offenders and children experiencing poverty. AMO Reliance

Cathy Del Rizzo is the project manager of EPTO-European Peer Training Organisation. She has experience in non-formal education, theatre and storytelling. Graduated in Drama in 2008, she has developed skills in project management, non-formal and diversity education by attending several trainings. Cathy has provided anti-discrimination, theatre and storytelling workshops in schools, organisations and youth centres. She works now for EPTO, coordinating projects at the European level and facilitating workshops.

Three sensitising questions from the introduction of this workshop:Workshop G. How to Bring Children’s Right to Play to Action

  • What does the right to play actually mean?
  • Do we currently regard play as a contributing factor to the quality of human relationships?
  • How can children become their own advocate for the right of play?

Participants discovered the meaning of play from all our individual perspectives, including the youngest and the oldest participants as well as experiencing the meaning for us as a group. Based on this richness and the treasure of our experiences participants together composed a performance on how children themselves express the right of play.

This workshop was facilitated by Gerburg Fuchs.

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