Background of the Project
The project was carried out in the early years in cooperation with the Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul, BİLGİ Child Studies Unit and YÖRET, emphasizing the theme of non-discrimination in terms of children’s rights to access to culture and freedom of expression. Through collaborations from different fields, different thematic issues were addressed and the project became more and more inclusive. During this period, the project became a platform where the paths of children, experts working with children, artists, teachers, decision makers and academics crossed in panels, meetings and workshops on media, children’s rights, literature, gender equality, peer bullying, creative thinking, social cohesion, technology, etc.
In 2017, for the first time, events were organized in cities such as Izmir and Eskişehir. A study visit to inspiring institutions in Sweden on child rights and the development of child culture helped to determine the general framework of the program.
In 2018, the project program was divided into two fields of work: capacity building and networking/collaboration development. The capacity building program aims to introduce and strengthen the child rights-based approach promoting child participation into the agenda of experts working with children, NGOs and decision-makers in municipalities. The program on developing networks/collaborations aims to bring together institutions and individuals who can inspire child culture and child participation and support them to collaborate and produce together. The most prominent example of these two goals intertwined is the “Young Voices Collaboration Community”, which was created in 2018 and still continues to work.
2019 was the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. We structured the project affecting in an effort to bring the children’s right to participate to the agenda with the the two main objectives above. On the one hand, capacity strengthening trainings were held in cities such as Giresun and Bilecik, and on the other hand, major events such as the Children’s Right to Participate:Where are we? Symposium and Child Participation Training were organized. In contribution of the Young Voices Collaboration Community, we both produced knowledge on child participation and created self-expression spaces for children.
In the 2021 project, training programs were designed to empower experts and institutions who are working in the field of children about child rights and child participation. These training programs were pilotted online and face-to-face with 6 institutions and during these training sessions, training materials were developed that can be used when talking about these issues. Besides, the animated short movie “YOL” was produced to discuss the perception of children in adults, and the project website was made suitable for everyone over the age of 9.
In 2022, the project was carried out in partnership with Sulukule Volunteers Association and BİLGİ Child Studies Unit. Based on child participation, it was aimed for young people between the ages of 12-18 to take an active part in the process of the project and the planning of activities. After 12 weeks of empowerment meetings with young people, a Youth Forum and a Production Camp were organized in which even more young people were included. The youth who participated in the 12-week empowerment activities planned and led the Youth Forum. During the production camp, young people transformed their messages and demands to adults into social media content.