The first work meeting of the working group for Children and Adolescent Participation of the National Network for Children took place on the 14th and 15th of May in Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria. The meeting was held as part of the project “Megaphone: Children and Adolescent participation for better citizenship” with the financial support of the the NGO Programme in Bulgaria under the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism Program for 2009-2014.
The number two priority of the Strategy of the National Network for Children for 2015-2020 is “Children and Adolescent Participation” with one strategic aim – “Development of a model for children participation”. The working group “Children and Adolescent participation” was set up in answer to these strategical decisions.
The four thematic working groups of the National Network for Children – Family and alternative care, Healthcare, Child justice and Education turned out to be effective means for building working capacity for carrying out the advocacy priorities in the four groups. These positive examples gave reasons to believe that a similar method could be applied to the Children and |Adolescent Participation field.
Throughout the last few years the National Network for Children made a lot of effort for the creation, maintenance and development of the Youth network Megaphone- the platform of children and adolescent participation. All children and adolescent in the alliance of children and young people taking action in Megaphone are clients or volunteers of the member organizations of the National Network for Children.
Taking into account the network culture of the NNC, the model of the activity of the Network makes the next logical step when creating the working group for Children and Adolescent Participation – forming the alliance of the “grown ups” and their organizations engaged the most with the principle of Children and Adolescent Participation – the ones who have the most experience and are willing to contribute to the cause.
At this first meeting the working group engaged explicitly in setting up a frame of its own activities in regard to the other member organizations, the NNC as alliance of organizations and to children and adolescent for whose right of participation the group engages to advocate.
The aims, goals, structure and forms of membership were thoroughly discussed as well as the activities happening until the end of 2015.
One of the decisions taken at the meeting is about the open positions of the group- there is willingness for partnership with outside organizations and institutions of national and local level, pointed towards supporting children’s and adolescents’ right of participation and also towards the exchange of practices and realization of advocacy and communication shared initiatives
The working group for Children and Adolescent participation was set up in the context of the NNC Strategy for 2015-2020 so the activities and perspectives of the group and the member organizations are expected to be developed furthermore during the next 5 years.
The project “Megaphone: Children and Adolescent participation for better citizenship” is financed by the NGO Programme in Bulgaria under the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism Program for 2009-2014.