What advice would you give to other people running participatory projects with and for children?
Approach is the basis in the intervention with children and young people, to meet the individuality is important and to allow them to speak freely, it is up to the adult to retain the most important.
Why did your project work well?
The dynamics developed were the key for children and young people to free themselves. The relationship created allowed for an informal and even close atmosphere. Many hugs 🙂
evidenceWhat did you do? We promoted assemblies for children and youth in foster homes, addressing their perceptions about the Foster Care System, school, and their emotions. Over 100 children took part. When? January to December 2022 Where? Aveiro, Coimbra and Leiria - all districts in central Portugal. All the activities were held in the Foster Homes, with the exception of the final meetings that took place in a multipurpose hall, in Coimbra How did you prepare and connect with children? Taking into account the age groups and contexts, designing appropriate interventions in time and space, trying to meet the interests of children and young people, but with our goal always present. We connected through fun dynamics, games with the offer of small prizes, music... How did children identify issues and choose priorities and ways of working together? Through free sharing, with respect for all opinions, even those that were off-topic. The older and more assertive ones were guiding the priorities. How did you investigate children’s views? Informal conversations, assemblies, exploration of images and texts... How did you take action based on what children said? Compilation of the main conclusions reported by the children in a report to be delivered to the Foster Homes and to the people in charge of the promotion and protection system in Portugal. Then, final meetings with the various Foster Homes (children and caregivers). What worked well? Getting closer to children and young people, achieving moments of individual and collective reflection, and sharing. What challenges did you face? The different ages and diverse maturities, even in each Foster Home. How did you overcome any of the challenges? Sense of humour , "good vibes", music to relieve eventual tensions... What would you do differently? More sessions on emotions. For more information you can contact: João Pedro Gaspar at: email@example.com Website: www.paje.pt/from-voice-to-action/
impactWhat did you do to try to achieve change? We delivered a report to each Shelter Home, meeting with those responsible. We delivered a global report to those responsible for the Promotion and Protection System in Portugal What has changed? Some of the Foster Homes participating in the project have already implemented the youth assemblies, the others promise to do so soon. We hope to be able to follow up with the 8 Foster Homes to understand if this is happening, in what terms and what can be adjusted. We believe that those responsible for the Promotion and Protection System for children and youth at risk in Portugal, after analysing our global report and meeting with them, may take decisions in order to meet the suggestions of the children and youth participating in the project.