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13 June 2024 - News

Save the Children Uganda Launches the Children Advisory Committee

By Marita Mugasha

Save the Children Uganda is revolutionising child participation in Uganda with the launch of the Children Advisory Committee (CAC).

This groundbreaking initiative aims to empower children as influential voices in policy and decision-making processes, marking a significant shift towards acknowledging children as essential agents of change.

The launch event was a historic moment, showcasing children stepping into roles traditionally reserved for adults. Acting as panelists and moderators, these young advocates engaged with officials from the Ministry of Gender, Labor, and Social Development, Straight Talk Foundation, and the Save the Children Senior Management Team.

They tackled complex issues such as the participation of children with disabilities in decision-making processes, significantly influencing the dialogue surrounding their rights and needs.

Leading the discussions, the children brought their unique perspectives to the forefront. They addressed critical issues, including barriers to quality education for children in refugee settlements, hunger and malnutrition, and rights violations such as teenage pregnancy, early marriage, poverty, and violence.

These challenges disrupt their education, health, and overall well-being, hindering their potential and participation in decision-making processes. Their compelling narratives highlighted the importance of inclusive policies and the real-life impact of existing challenges.

A highlight of the event was the interaction between the children and the Commissioner from the Ministry of Gender, Labor, and Social Development Franco Tolea.

The children posed direct and impactful questions, challenging the Commissioner on the Ministry's efforts to support children, particularly those in marginalized communities.

In response, the Commissioner outlined several initiatives, including policy reforms, increased funding for disability programs, and capacity-building efforts to foster inclusive environments.

This event was a powerful demonstration of children's potential to drive change. The active participation of children in such a high-profile event underscored the need for continued engagement and support for child-led advocacy.

Building on the success of this event, Save the Children Uganda plans to expand the Children Advisory Committee by incorporating more voices, especially from marginalized communities in Uganda.

They aim to regularize and facilitate child-led advocacy meetings between children and policymakers, increasing public understanding of the importance of including children, including those with disabilities, in decision-making processes.