History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children ― Nelson Mandela
Bangalore Rural Educational and Development Society (BREADS) organised a fitting concluding review of its flagship programme Child Rights Education and Action Movement (CREAM). The final review meeting of CREAM was conducted on 22 and 23 April 2023 at Jal Mahal, Mysuru for all the programme directors and staff from twenty districts of Karnataka.
In his welcome address, Fr. Rubin Mathew, Executive Director, BREADS acknowledged and appreciated all the people who contributed to the success of CREAM since 2012. CREAM operated on the premise that if children are educated about their rights, they would be able to better participate in matters concerning their own development and well-being. In 20 districts of Karnataka, over three phases (2012-2015, 2016-2020, 2020-2023), CREAM has been successful at building the awareness of children and communities so that they could access their rights from the State, in keeping with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the state laws on the same.
Mr. Benny Augustine, Manager-Projects, presented an update of the CREAM III programmes from October 2020 to March 2023. Ms. Susanne Arzt, Project Manager from DB Mondo, Germany, validated the success and impact of the programme over the years in the lives of children, in making them aware of their rights and child rights violations, and building their capacity to exercise their Right to Participation. On 22 April, the CREAM staff reviewed the programme while the programme Directors did the same on 23 April. It was a time for reflection, recollection and a retrospective of the programmes of CREAM; and how it influenced changes in the attitudes and behaviour of children and the community with respect to children’s rights. The evaluation also reflected on the advocacy efforts with the government departments to promulgate the formation of Child Rights Clubs (CRCs), Child Protection Committees (CPCs) and the organisation of Makkala Grama Sabhas (MGS). The staff and Directors also shared the impact of working with CREAM in their own lives.
As Nelson Mandela said, History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children; CREAM has made a huge difference in the lives of children through child rights education. CREAM reached out to 83,298 children through 839 trainings in government schools and reached 22,962 stakeholders through its advocacy workshops at the taluk and district levels, and through the formation of CPCs to ensure the sustainability of actions for prioritising the protection and promotion of child rights.
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