Children as campaigners
26 September 2007Add to My Folder
Juan David lives in Medellin, Colombia, one of the most violent places in the world where armed gangs and groups are continually fighting. He is campaigning against violence and conflict in his neighbourhood
- to realise the consequences of bullying
- to resolve differences by looking at alternatives
- to research, discuss and debate topical issues
‘There are violent gangs, as well as guerillas and paramilitary groups fighting for control of our city. Sometimes, the fighting is so bad we can’t go out of the house. The children also fight. Some kids play with guns that shoot pebbles. They copy the grown-ups who fight with real guns. Mostly, the children fight because they like teasing each other. Someone hits someone else and they don’t like it, so they fight back.
‘I have been voted class representative for our Living Together programme. I help the teachers to try to resolve conflicts between children. We have a special place where children can go to try to talk through their differences instead of fighting. We have workshops where everyone in our school and community can work out ways of dealing with the violence and lack of respect.
‘If we don’t talk about things instead of fighting, the bad things will continue. By learning to talk to each other now, the children will do the same outside of school and when they grow up. If the gangs, guerillas and soldiers were here now, I’d tell them to stop fighting with guns – because the others fight back with guns too, and the war will never end.
Juan David, aged 9
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