Children star in films about their own rights

Children displaying their artistic talents for the Children’s Rights Film Festival. (Mega D Youth Foundation photo)

ST. EUSTATIUS–Children of Mega D Youth Foundation MYF and Daughters of The King (DOTK) have the chance to become young rising movie stars. By participating in the United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF’s Children’s Rights Film Festival, children learn about their rights and make their own short movie about children’s rights. St. Eustatius is the first Dutch Caribbean island to participate in this festival, which has been successful in the Netherlands for a few years.

  Since November 6, four groups of MYF and two groups of DOTK are actively involved in children’s rights through the Film Festival. Part of this programme is a lesson on children’s rights and a drawing contest. Six beautiful drawings will be selected to start as a basic script for the short film.

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  The programme is not only educational and focused on awareness and empowering; an element of competition is also included. Six groups are competing in the Children’s Rights Film Festival. The winning group gets to represent Statia in the regional finale and compete with the other groups of other islands to become the Dutch Caribbean’s big winner.

  “Children are able to create their own professional film and are enabled to share with the world what they think is important. This is so powerful as it strengthens their creative skills and raises their self-esteem. When you think of that, all children that participated are winners,” said Dirkje de Jong.

Children love the idea and are truly enthusiastic about being part of the event. “Yes, I’m going to be in a real movie,” said one of the participants.

  The focus of this programme is to raise awareness on children’s rights in a creative and playful manner. Film making is considered a perfect tool to reach this objective.

  Every child and young person has rights, no matter who they are or where they live. By signing the Convention on the Right of the Child the world made a promise to children to do everything in their power to protect and promote children’s rights to survive and thrive, to learn and grow, to make their voices heard and to reach their full potential.

When learning about children’s rights, children learn they need to respect the rights of other children and adults by not bullying one another, but also by, for example, listening to their parents or teachers.

  Learning about child rights empowers children and adults to bring about change in their immediate environment and the world at large to ensure that the rights of all children are fully realized.

  The Children’s Rights Film Festival is part of the larger children’s rights approach of UNICEF Netherlands, the Public Entity St. Eustatius and the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations to support professionals, parents and children to further improve the children’s rights situation in the Caribbean Netherlands.

  The six short films will be premiered during a festive event to celebrate children’s rights in January 2018. From November 22 the children’s drawings will be on display at MYF and DOTK.

Source: The Daily Herald