Echoing the voices of the children of Cabo Delgado
Today we echoed the voices of the children of Cabo Delgado when we launched the report “Hearing the Voices of Children in Cabo Delgado”, an initiative by Save the Children in Mozambique to improve the way children's needs are addressed in the context of the military conflict in Cabo Delgado - from the children's perspective.
The event took place in a simple but symbolic ceremony in the city of Maputo, in the presence of representatives of the Children's Parliament, the Government, the United Nations agencies, national and international organizations and the National Commission on Human Rights.
The report represents an ultimate attempt to draw attention to all humanitarian actors in Cabo Delgado to rethink their intervention strategies in order to reflect the views of children in different areas, from protection, education, health, shelter and participation itself.
The document is the result of a consultation carried out by Save the Children with the children of Cabo Delgado during in March in the districts of Metuge, Chiúre and Meconta (Nampula).
The representatives of the Children's Parliament, although physically distant from the children of Cabo Delgado, stated that they share the same spirit as that of their friends and will do everything to defend their cause and improve their condition.
Chance Briggs, Save the Children’s Country Representative, said that by giving voice to the children of Cabo Delgado, the organization expects donors and governments to actually hear what children are saying and take action to protect, support and help them to survive and thrive, despite the challenges they face.
The Government, which embraces this initiative, says it is also concerned about the situation of the child affected by the conflict in Cabo Delgado and announced that it will soon open a nursery center for unaccompanied children arriving in the city of Pemba, according to Páscoa Sumbana, Deputy Director of the National Directorate for Children, Ministry of Gender Children and Social Action.
The voices of the children of Cabo Delgado is so important that, for the Coordinator of the Child Protection Cluster in Mozambique, Hugo Reichnberger said: “we need to listen to children much more often.”
The Human Rights National Commission, represented at the launching ceremony, by one of its Commissioners, said that the institution is mirrored in the report and that it will use its lobby and advocacy privileged channels to help channel the issues raised by the report to the Government.
This report is the result of a consultation carried out by Save the Children in March, with children aged 12-17 years old about families displaced by the conflict in Cabo Delgado. The purpose of the consultation was to ensure that children's views were heard by community leaders, government, humanitarian agencies and donors, to ensure that current and future interventions designed to benefit these children were influenced by their thoughts, opinions, concerns and needs. The consultation was carried out with children in host communities, transit and resettlement centers.
184 children participated in the sessions, including 89 girls and 95 boys. Of these, 131 were children displaced children and 53 were children from host communities.