School outreach

In October 2016, one of our partners Nubian Rights forum held a one week event on Statelessness targeting school children. This event targeted primary school children from class 6 to class 8 and secondary schools. The event dubbed school outreach was divided into two:

Quarter Finals

Judges of the final debates

The area county representative Hon. Aisha Abdi also graced the event

1. Creative writing and arts

This was open to both primary and secondary school involving composition writing and drawing. The paralegals went to different schools for two weeks prior to the competitions educating the children on their entitlement as citizens and the dangers of not registering for the different nationality documents like birth certificates. They also educated them on statelessness and how lack of registration could lead to statelessness. Later on they were required to either write an essay or make drawings depicting what they had learnt or their experiences in applying for nationality document or even the experiences of their next of kins. The topics for the essays were: 1 Discuss ways in which statelessness can be eradicated 2 How does gender based discrimination affects statelessness 3 Discrimination on basis of ethnicity, race, religion, language or disability are recurrent causes of statelessness.

2. School debates

In this category, they targeted secondary school children and the mode of debate is the modern style debating style. The debate topics were:

  1. Importance of including fathers name in a birth certificate
  2. Fines and penalties are effective ways of ensuring birth certificate and identification card registration
  3. State should automatically grant nationality to children born in their territories
  4. Stateless population belongs to the minority groups only
  5. Vetting should be Nationalized
  6. Lack of National documentation does not mean that you are stateless
  7. Everyone has a right to nationality
  8. Men and women should be given equal rights to confer nationalities to their children

This is an interesting way of capturing the voices of the children. Most of the approaches looks at the adults and the voices of the children who are the direct beneficiaries or the indirect victims of registration of their parents are never given an audience. This is the second time NRF conducted such an event.

In one way it was a competition but the main aim of the event was to disseminate information on nationality as well as capturing the raw voices of the children on the issue. It is so sad that while reviewing the essays last year there was so much hatred rooted in the hearts of the children by their next of kins especially children from the politically correct ethnic groups terming the other communities as enemies of the state. There is need to do more activities targeting children to remove such ideologies from their minds.

In the debates, the students did their research well and was so impressive. But all this credit goes to the paralegals who helped the students in researching and framing their arguments. This is also a skill when training paralegals. In terms of choosing the communication styles since children understand differently compared to the adults and the mode of delivery also varies when dealing with kids. @yasahkym @Purity_Wadegu @makkahyusuf @Cnior @zena @lauragoodwin. Do you have any comments on the event? The rest of the thematic areas do you have any experience working with students or children in your work? @davidarach @manjumenon @krithikadinesh