Underlining its aim to empower orphaned and vulnerable children to reach their full potential Miracle Foundation India, a fully-licensed Section 25 non-profit organization, conducted their first-ever Children’s Youth Ambassador’s Workshop, ‘Meeting of the Champions’. The initiative took place from 27th to 29th of July, 2019 at Mumbai’s Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini Center. Miracle Foundation India had received a total of 78 applications from children living across 17 childcare institutions, of which, twelve were selected. These Youth Ambassadors who are between the ages of 13 to 21 and from different regional diversities will be the voices of millions of children like them. The Miracle Youth Ambassadors were assessed on parameters like passion, communication, presence, engagement, and attitude through written and video applications.
The selection panel comprised of representatives from Miracle Foundation India and children from associate child care homes with prior experience in media interactions, leadership and/or public speaking.
Expressing her excitement, Saloni (one of the Youth Ambassadors) said, “As a Youth Ambassador, I want to develop my strengths and abilities. I want to improve my knowledge on child rights and skills in communications, leadership, and understanding.”
The three-day workshop focused on training these emerging leaders to raise awareness on child rights through various skill-building sessions of storytelling, media training, and communication skills.
The workshop has helped improve the skills and confidence of the Miracle Youth Ambassadors. This enabled them to share their personal experiences and ideas to affect change in the childcare system through various media and advocacy channels. These Youth Ambassadors had the opportunity to learn, create, and participate in different types of media — from print to online, interviews to blogging and social media — to share their perspective as one of the millions of children living without families around the world.
Speaking on the Program, Nivedita DasGupta, India Country Head, Miracle Foundation India said, “At the Miracle Foundation India, we believe in doing all that we can to empower and facilitate children in need of care & protection to realize their true potential. Over the years, we have been working towards improving the standards of care across CCIs (Childcare institutions) in India, and what better way to do this than to get our children to lead the change? We have always believed and advocated that every child has a right to be heard and participate. With this in mind, we have created the Children’s Youth Ambassador Program with a focus on raising awareness on bringing positive change to the childcare system in the country. Through this, we, along with our Youth Ambassadors, can reach out to the right stakeholders and change-makers to facilitate this movement and be the voice of millions of other children that are living the very same experience.”
As Youth Ambassadors, children actively participated and got featured in social and general media to reform the childcare system. The program helped children to chart out an effective course of action, using their experiences and creativity to contribute to the improvement of the childcare system in the country. As part of the larger Child Participation and Youth Advocacy initiative at Miracle Foundation India, the goal of the Youth Ambassador program is to ensure that children have their voices heard and are actively engaged in the childcare system and family-based care space that serves them.