The Children and Youth Participation Programme of the National Network for Children Megaphone welcomed the new class of Megaphoners – children aged between 13 and 16 from all over the country. Over the next two years, a new team of 14 young people will be part of our initiative, which empowers children to know their rights, defend them, advocate on topics and issues that are key to their lives locally, nationally and internationally, as well as respect and protect the rights of others in their communities.
We will welcome the new group of Megaphoners with a traditional fall camp. This year it will be held in Stara Zagora. In the new cohort children from 7 NNC member organizations will take part – girls and boys from different Bulgarian cities and from different communities, and also professionals from the social and educational sphere, who in the coming months will support them in passing through the programme.
Active child and youth participation is to be discussed and explored in depth not only in this first camp, but also in the following camps, and to be put into practice by the teams through the activities of the programme. For the youth, there is work to be done on topics that interest them within their communities or globally. They will research and analyse case studies, learn how to address them appropriately and in front of whom, and participate in a range of interesting events in which we will encourage and support their leadership participation. These include Voice It, our largest event for children and youth participation, which we hold annually in November; our Golden Apple Awards for best practices in children’s policies; the launch of our annual Note Card; and the Network’s Annual Meeting.
Welcome, Megaphoners! We are delighted to see you in our biennial youth civic engagement programme. We are delighted that you are joining Megaphone, a programme we are developing as an open community with two-way interaction – both when children consult and get involved in our projects, and when NNC supports children’s own ideas and activities.
Responsible for the fourteen young people is once again the Children and Youth Participation Team at the National Network for Children with the Programme Leader Kristina Nenova together with a team of 7 supporting adults. Over the next two years, we will be talking about children’s and human rights, advocacy, education, meaningful child and youth participation, mental health, healthcare, financial literacy, child justice, and much more. We’ll learn how to communicate with diverse people, policymakers, and institutional experts, how to use analysis and data to advocate for opinion and strive for change, how to take a stand, and perhaps most importantly, how to listen to the perspectives of other children, youth and adults and connect in beneficial relationships with them, even when advocating for different views.