AUX ENFANTS DE L\'AFRIQUE

AUX ENFANTS DE L\'AFRIQUE

SYNTHESIS REPORT OF THE TECHNICAL SUPPORT GROUP WORKSHOP AMONG MEMBER COUNTRIES OF THE SAHELOGORFIQUE GROUP, KPALIME 9TH-22ND JULY, 2012

 

With the support of Enda Third World, the African Movement of Working Children and Youth (AMWCY) organized a technical support workshop from 09th to 22nd July, 2012 at CRETEFP centre in Kpalimè (Togo). In number of thirty eight, the participants came from Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Togo.      

The purpose of organizing this workshop is to help the participants to become facilitators by acquiring the techniques of training through exchange of experiences among countries. It is also an occasion to make an overview/assessment of the technical support visits of the year 2011, and to organize new visits in order to help associations find solutions to their various expectations.

After an animation, the introduction of the participants, and a brainstorming on their expectations, the workshop began with the presentation of the results of the year 2011’s technical support activities.

A/- OVERVIEW/ASSESSMENT OF VISITS IN 2011

It started with an explanation of the concept technical support visit. According to the facilitation team, it is different from a mere meeting. But it is an activity which enables to get solutions to associations’ expectations after building their capacity, visits to grassroots groups and report giving, the overview of changes brought to associations by the technical support visits of 2011 was given per country.     

Observed Changes in Benin

- Enhancement of the collaboration between AWCY of Kpomassè and its local authorities: the mayor and the deputy (parliamentarian) (before the visit, authorities did not consider WCY; despite they use to sweep the vicinity. But during the visit, visitors accompany them to the mayor to whom the association was presented. Since then his behaviour has favorable changed torwards them.

- They restart the sales of goat after their mayor has given them two goats

- A parliamentarian of their locality has helped them to build a fold (shelter) for the goats in order to protect them from theft.

- Thanks for the profit made from the sales of goats they set up a second IGA that is ‘’Acadja’’ (used to fish). 

- Increase of members in grassroots group

- The visit enabled WCY themselves to better the monitoring of the association instead of animators (i.e. association of Porto-Novo).

- Thanks for internal visits, there is an increase of grassroots groups (Porto-Novo, Bohicon, Missrérété)

Observed Changes in Cameroon

- WCY now know how to identify activities that will meet their problems

- After the visit WCY know how to negotiate with their authorities

- WCY now master the twelve rights

- Thanks for the establishment of follow-up and organization commissions, members of old associations improved the organization of their activities.

 - WCYs are more and more recognized by their municipal authorities through the training of WCY waitress who help them during official ceremonies.

Observed Changes in Ghana

- Thanks for the visit of the association of HO, members of Hoviepe association have a new IGA that is plantain farm

- Acquisition of ball, net, stationeries for WCY of some associations.

Observed Changes in Niger

- Participation of a larger number of girls in trainings and international meetings thanks for awareness campaigns raise in direction of parents during visits.

- some associations reset their meeting frequency i.e. instead of monthly meeting they now hold weekly meeting)

- The number of associations has increased from 6 to 14 with 3 new that are yet to be created

Observed Changes in Nigeria

- Three new associations have been formed i.e. obélé, Aradagoun, Esèkpè

- After the awareness campaign of the association of Farassimè on education, there is an increase in number of children who are going through literacy courses

- Establishment of disciplinary committee which punishes latecomers

- Establishment of a visit group

Observed Changes in Togo

- Materialization of the right to learn how to read and write (the coordination built two classrooms in Adomi, and one in Vogan, it also built a nursery for 54 children in Adomi).

- Collaboration (collaboration with SCAC in Lomé for liquid soap making, with PSI in Dapaong for HIV/AIDS test)

- Communication (communications, and trainings are recorded/burnt on CD in order to inform partners and other associations‘ members of what happened during workshops, radio programs on Cosmos FM for the visibility of Togo’s AWCY and to make the 12 rights known to WCY

Observed Changes in Central African Republic

- Formation of new AWCY with the federation of grassroots groups

- More initiatives have been developed to materialize the rights, especially the right to a light and limited work

Observed Changes in Chad

- materialization of the right to learn how to read and write, the right to a light and limited work, the right to self expression and the right to remain in village.

- Development of IGA after trainings

-  Slight progression of the collaboration with authorities of some associations.

 

B/- VISIT TO ASSOCIATIONS IN BENIN AND TOGO

After the theoretical aspect of the workshop which is training, visitors went to the field where they are supposed to assist 18 AWCY of Benin (7) and Togo (11) to meet their expectations. This practical enables visitors to concretely support the visited and to practise in the field the theory they learnt during the training. And this has brought to both immediate and long run/term changes.

Visitors’ actions in the field

Globally, hence in the field, visitors sensitized some local authorities in order to be granted some things that will help them solve their problem (plot of lands, classrooms) the non recognition which prevent the associations to function well.

It is noticed that there were some reflection and capacity building activities for materializing the 12 rights, literacy class monitoring, establishing an economic activity training of grassroots group’s members on what the AMWCY is.

There was Tounga film show to WCY and people in markets, squares, drinking spots/places and some training workshops have been an opportunity to inform and sensitize some masters, parents and even some children on their work conditions, especially, apprentices. They were also visits to some parents, and social mobilization on children’s rights, child migration and the 12 rights identified by WCY.

The visitors have participated in palm oil production; sanitation session together with association; the cleaning of the canton leader’s compound, public places and toilets for the good health of their fellows; literacy classroom rebuilding; and market garden produce.

Organization of talk and radio programs on the twelve rights with the support of supporting structures. Participation in the elaboration of associations work plan.

Immediate changes observed after visiting the 18 AWCY in Benin and Togo

Benin

Abomey -Calavi

- WCY have  a close contact with the community leader of Tokpa-Zoungo grassroots group, he even supports the formation of a grassroots group of vendors in calavi market ; and said his doors are widely opened to working children and youth.

 - Implementation of the steps involved in choosing an IGA which is that of collecting and selling sand, the present activity will also enable the association to be more visible. 

- thanks for the contact with the president, youth representative of the community development association, the grassroots group of Togoudo now has a venue (classroom) for their meetings, literacy classes and other activities.

Comè

- the mayor of comè accepts to collaborate with the AWCY of his community through the elaboration of work plan; the later put at the disposal of the AWCY a representative of the municipality who will follow-up the collaboration and WCY’s participation during the celebration of the independence day (1st August).

- To practice the newly achieved techniques on how to choose a profitable IGA, grassroots groups reviewed and re-oriented their activities. That is why discussion and in the grassroots group of Gativé has resulted in the reduction of the selling price fixed for the matt they produce in order to compete against other sellers, in Sègbé grassroots group the strategies used in selling popcorn have been reviewed, i.e. children and youths instead of sitting at place to sell, they now hawk.

 

Grand Popo

- Forty (40) children and youth, representatives of various grassroots groups know how to a profitable and less risky IGA which is the production and sales of condiments, akassa (maize paste) and porridge.

- Children now acquire the procedure by which they can make parents respect their rights, for they master how to identify problems pertaining to the rights to remain in the village, and to learn how to read and write.

- About 500 people have been sensitized on the 12 rights and achievements of the AMWCY, parents claim they are more attentive /watchful to children’s worry.

- WCY know how to negotiate with authorities at different level, their advocacy on the right to learn how to read and write captures the attention of the mayor who put them in relation with a monitor who will help them in the literacy classes.

 

Kpomassè

- parents and masters met in the field said they did not know that children also have rights, and from that moment on, children are free to take part in AWCY activities anytime they wish. 

- it is noticed that village chiefs and community leaders are ready to back the WCY, for instance, the councilor gave to WCY the key of an office for their activities, he also promised to give a plot of land on which their office will be built.

- Each visited grassroots group and on the association level, they elected executive members who are mainly children, the later replace the youth who used to make every decision.

Lac 

- the village chief of Vekky Daho grassroots group has granted a classroom for literacy classes to WCY and promised to support them materially

- Engagement of NGO Sonangnon to pay for WCY the monitor of their literacy classes.

- Initiation to a new IGA; making of liquid soap.

- WCY know how to advocate, and were able to get from Todo village chief a place to keep their « Acadja (to be sold) » which stands as the IGA of their association.

- Awareness campaign in direction of some parents and masters who used to make children work a lot, what prevents them from attending their grassroots groups’ activities. But now, most of them understand the usefulness of associative life.

Lokossa

-  run of IGA in order to solve members’ problems and to materialize their rights.

- Toguèmè community leader promised to provide WCY with gardening material, at the same time, the deputy mayor proposed to be their spokesman in the communal council.

- Enhancement of their ability to sensitize the population on the 12 rights, child abuse. And parents are now aware that children are having bad experience in their migration.

- New executive members have been elected in Agamè grassroots group

Ouidah

- Contact and motivation of the three new grassroots groups (sogbadji, awicodji, wakpè), after deciding on a venue and time for their meeting, they now get well organized.

- participants have identified difficulties faced by WCY in their various fields of work and extended listening actions to other groups of children in Ouidah like apprentices, and truck pushers.

- A committee was set up, with a minimum action on the right to a light and limited work and the right to learn how to read and write.

- A contact was established among group of WCY and their authorities, community leader, village chief, and market leaders throughout the town. Also with them, there was exchange of idea on the initiative of producing the film Tounga « listen! It concerns you »

 

 

Togo

 Adomi

- rebuilding of a literacy classroom followed by the effective resumption of classes for children

- There is now a perfect understanding between members of the grassroots groups of Elavagnon and Adomi. In fact the king of Adomi is committed to contact authorities of Elavagnon in order to settle the land conflict opposing both villages and which has négative impact on working children and youth of those areas.

- the AWCY has gained the trust of parents living around Gbadi Bena grassroots group, and they now have a perfect perception of the AWCY after its members have had the initiative of cultivating beans. The parents in their turn, promised to let their children take part in the association’s activities.

Agou

- there is a strong commitment of Blakpa and Avédjé grassroots groups’members who decided to take the association far, through the farming  of cereal whose revenue will be spent on the materialization of the right to learn how to read and write.

- There is a perfect understanding of children’s rights and duties.

- after being taught the techniques of choosing and running a profitable IGA, WCY understood and chose a new IGA which is the purchase, collect, the storage of cereal in order to resell where there is shortage. The profits of that activity will be used to buy materials for children in need.

Agadji

- Little conflicts and role conflicts existing among members of Kpètè grassroots group have been sorted-out.

- There was an initiative of organizing entertainment and party in order to increase the visibility of AWCY in their vicinities.

Dapaong

- Children’s participation has been materialized by the mobilization of about 156 children who testified their best knowledge on the AMWCY and its 12 rights.

- Some tricks were developed in order to motivate children’s participation in discussion and decision making in their groups, they decided to contribute in their midst in order to start carrying out actions for the materialization of their rights.

- they agreed on liquid soap production in order to facilitate the materialization of the rights to learn how to read and write, and the right to remain in village, instead of migrating to neighboring country Burkina.

 

Kévé

- Formation of new grassroots group for truck pushers who are 74 in number

- there is a clear understanding of the director of the supporting structure about the WCY’s function and organization, he agreed with children and youth to work with other grassroots groups.

- Thanks for the AWCY, a work plan is available, a meeting with truck pushers is forecasted in order to discuss on the strategies of implementing their decision.

 

 

Kouma

- through the cleaning of public toilets which are now neat and accessible to children and the population as whole, the AWCY is now more visible in the village.

 -  The village chief provides WCY with a plot of land for farming purposes

-  Election of executive members in Bala grassroots group

- Some partners (councilor, Red Cross) promised to assist WCY in case of necessity

- WCY now have a good knowledge on AWCY and its achievement at the continental level, henceforth, there are six grassroots groups with an increase of members.

Lassa

- Mobilization and massive children’s participation in exchange sessions on AMWCY and the rights.

- The regional managing director of Budget and Planning accepts to support the AWCY in the implementation of its work plan.

- Initiation to how to approach and negotiate with other organizations which work in favor of children in the region of Kara (SOS children’s village Kara, AGAIB, Community Affairs. media, CVD, village chiefs, cantons leader, high commissioner and the mayor of the town …)

- There is a start of awareness campaign on the children’s 12 rights and youth migration

Niamtougou

- There are contacts with new groups of working children in the market. They took advantage of the opportunity to exchange on working child’s rights and duties.

- Consolidation of contacts with police officers, and municipal authorities.

- the dynamism of Niamtougou’s AEJT, has facilitated the promotion of one of its seniors to the rank of animator of the project pilot, which is supported by PAN and UNICEF for feeding children in difficult situation and disabled

- weeding a maize farm has enabled WCY to get in touch with the population who got interested in listening to them.

 

Lomé

- Some parents have invited WCY to project the film Tounga « Listen! It concerns you » in their area in order to form new grassroots groups

- In each grassroots group some activities on the 1é rights were identified and are on the way to be carried out (literacy classes, health and hygiene in the village, girls’ participation in IGA).

- The market leader of (Assiyéyémè in Adidogonmè) promised to meet porters’ grassroots group in order to help them in their relation with other people in the market.

- Two new grassroots groups are yet to be formed in Assiganmè market

Sotouboua 

- The mayor, high commissioner, Plan and inspection support the progression of their techniques in advocacy and elaboration of work plan.

- thanks for stationeries given to AWCY by charity services or volunteers, the AWCY assists children who have been inserted/sent back to formal school by sharing to them.

- CEFRET agreed to let WCY take part/organize radio programs

- Labor office agreed to meet parents and masters in order to exchange with them on working children’s condition.

-  Good understanding of the procedure of setting up an IGA

- Existence of a new grassroots group in youth’s house

 

Womé

- formation of a new grassroots group composed of about 40 members who are  apprentices, survivors (no proper job) and orphans in the village of Tové.

- increase of the number of WCY in the association of Womé and discussion with masters, workshop to workshop (35 WCY)

- There is a great motivation of the association’s members; this is proved by the elaboration of a monthly work plan and the establishment of a follow-up committee.

- Reinforcement of the collaboration between WCY and the village chief who accommodated a visitor during his/her five days of stay.

- Advocacy in order to collect back a plot of land which belongs to the AWCY.

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Base on the above results, we can conclude that each visit has brought concrete changes to AWCY and was an opportunity for the visitors to rebuild their capacities base on their experience in the field.  But before getting to that level, visitors went through self-training with the support of facilitators.

 

C/- ACTION FOR BUILDING VISITORS’ CAPACITY

According to participants, it consists of exchanging experiences in their midst in order to train themselves (self-training). The training will base on the participant’s knowledge and skills on the following themes: IGA, materialization of the 12 rights, advocacy/collaboration, and social mobilization.  

By the means of drama, participants show how an association can materialize the twelve rights, conduct a successful advocacy, make social mobilization/organization, and run a profitable IGA in the association. All those themes were subject to simulations whereby children have shown:

a)      Materialization of the twelve rights

According to the drama, before materializing the twelve rights, grassroots group’s members with visitors’ support must hold a meeting in order to identify the various problems WCY of the area are facing. Afterwards, have a discussion together on the problems and then act by planning some activities in function of the identified problems. (e.g.: organize a door-to-door sensitization to parents and masters on the right to a light and limited work)

 

b)     - IGA

Generally, we observe through the play that the choice of an IGA needs to start from an environmental scanning/market study in order to identify the profitable activity that can bring be run by the association, afterwards comes the mobilization of financial, material and intellectual resources, followed by purchase and the first trial.

NB: an association which want set up an IGA must have a book for keeping record of the stock, the unit price, the selling price, and the profit

 

- Advocacy

According to interlocutors, advocacy is comparable to a tree which starts with the roots, then the body and the branches. The roots are the problems WCY are confronted with (e.g.: many WCY in a village X are falling sick and do not go to work because of the existing insalubrities in the area), then the identification of needs, identify partners, elaborate strategies/activities to convince the partners. E.g.: social activities (sanitation/cleaning day, prepare the team that will meet the partners, the message to convey, inform the partner of the visit, the day of the interview, go along with some documents of the association that can be given to the partner.

c)      - Social Mobilization/ organisation

According to participants, social mobilization is supposed to be the flow of information from grassroots groups to association (AWCY) and then to coordination which in its turn will communicate it to the movement. For the effective flow of information WCY generally make use of some means: bikes, internet, telephone, car, train, call for meeting and finally the election of communication officers

- Development of mobilization strategies (organization of football tournament, games festival).

  • First contact with members of the visited association
  • Negotiate the expectations of association’ members
  • Together with the member, elaborate the agenda of the visit
  • Get acquainted with the strengths and weaknesses of the visited association through observation, questions and listening.  
  • Reflection on an identified problem (causes, consequences)
  • Actions/ solution
  • Evaluation between visitors and visited
  • Activity Report writing

 

d)     – Reminder on the AMWCY

According to participants, the AMWCY is African Movement of Working Children and Youth. It was created in 1994 at Bouaké in Ivory-Coast in presence of WCY’s representatives from some African countries. In country level, this movement is known as AWCY which is defined as: the Association of Working Children and youth. All associations in a country form the national coordination. Each association is composed of grassroots groups which are in villages or communities/districts. Within the grassroots groups are the Working Children and Youth (WCY).

NB : 

-          An association is composed of at least three grassroots groups

-          In each grassroots group there should be a minimum of 30 WCY

 

In spite of the important achievement and progress made during the visits in the field, visitors have encountered some difficulties which hindered their work. Among many other, we can list:

-          Language barrier (which can be overcome with a slight preparation/effort)

-          Inability of visitors to adapt their knowledge to that of the visited

-          Visitors’ inability to negotiate with the visited their expectations and their availability  

In regard to observations made by visitors in the field, it urges to perpetuate the undertaken actions in different area, starting from the rights, advocacy passing by IGA and communication.

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30/07/2012
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