At World Vision, we are committed to collaborative efforts and partnering with children to transform policies and services for lasting change. By promoting children's voices, especially from the most vulnerable places, we are increasing accountability, improving dialogue and enhancing government services.
Meet Khabonina (17) and Thubelihle (18), two young minds from the Shiselweni region who represented World Vision Eswatini at a Pre-conference Session for Children in Botswana, Gaborone from the 26th November 2023 to the 1st December 2023. This was a Children's Rights Forum organised by Child Rights Network in Southern Africa (CRNSA) where children were given the opportunity to speak on issues that affect their everyday lives. These include climate change, education, child poverty, child child protection and mental health.
These were the forum's key notes:
- CRNSA and the Government of the Republic of Botswana through the Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development, together with their partners, will be holding a Regional Child Rights Conference under the theme; “Taking Stock – the Reality of Children within the SADC Region”.
- As a precursor to the Regional Child Rights Conference CRNSA and the Government of Botswana have organised the Pre-conference Session spilt into 3 main sessions:
- Capacity and skills development on Child Rights, Advocacy, and Children’s Environmental,
- Intergenerational Dialogue with SADC Parliamentary Forum, Representatives from SADC Member States, and Development Partners on the implications of the Nairobi Declaration and Children’s Environmental Rights, and
- SADC Children’s Inaugural General Assembly to elect members of the Child–Led Transformation SADC Parliamentary Forum and Young Climate Voices.
Thubelihle (M) and Khabonina (F) were appointed to represent Eswatini in the Child–Led Transformation SADC Parliamentary Forum and Young Climate Voices which aims to generate evidence and create awareness about the realities of children in the SADC Region.
Speaking at the pre-conference sessions, Khabonina highlighted that climate change is an issue that is not meant to be abided and endured, but the aim is to reduce it.
“We would like to urge the government of the SADC region to invest in technology, research and engineering that will help fight and reduce climate change. Climate change is affecting us as children already and we don’t want to live through it; we aim to reduce it”, she said.
Thubelihle and Khabonina, are former registered children who were under the Sponsorship Programme in World Vision Eswatini.
Congrats you two, what you have achieved is remarkable! We cannot wait to see what powerful advocates you two will become!