Ending Violence Against Children in schools

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Last week we joined UNICEF, the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, Global Citizen and Junior Chamber International in South Africa to help bring to life the #ENDviolence Youth Manifesto.

Over 100 young people from Africa, Asia, and the Americas gathered in Johannesburg at the beginning of December to participate in Junior Chamber International (JCI) African Youth Development Summit to envisage how to end violence in and around schools.

We’re working with the Partnership to End Violence and JCI to give every participant an opportunity to provide genuine responses, share their thoughts and opinions on the topic while exposing all participants to the nature of policy formation and development.

Howard Taylor, Executive Director Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, (literally) on the ground in Joburg.

The candid and heartfelt responses we captured will help promote initiatives from the Partnership to End Violence through powerful storytelling to global forums, like the upcoming World Education Forum in January 2019.

We’ve been hoping to work with The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children for a while – their collective experience working around the world across the [Sustainable Development Goals] on a policy and communication level is inspiring, and is so closely aligned to the future we want to see and make in the world. We’re proud to partner with them, working on SDG4 (quality education) and SDG16 (peace, justice and strong institutions).

It was so powerful to have 120 voices from around the world in one room representing youth from around the world and developing the foundation to end violence against children by 2024. Working with The Global Partnership, we’re developing a plan to influence leaders and institutions globally and help create real, systemic change.

Clive Burcham, Founder & CEO at The Conscience Organisation
What a meeting of minds! Clara Lionel Foundation, Global Citizen, Skateistan, The Conscience Organsiation (Clive Burcham), Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.

For millions of young, passionate and driven students all over the world, education represents a chance for a better life – one that is fulfilling, prosperous and not limited by a lack of qualifications.

But a billion children experience violence every year, and a quarter of those do so in school. Whether it’s bullying, sexual harassment or corporal punishment, for many students, violence is an everyday reality.

Laura Ulloa Gonzalez was one of those children, who shared her story at the JCI African Youth Development Summit. Laura was kidnapped by the FARCS – a terrorist group in Colombia – at just 11 years old, on her way to school. She remained their captive for 7 months.

Behind the scenes: Activist Laura Ulloa Gonzalez and Jay Gunning, our Head of Content, at this year’s Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg.

During her time spent captive with the FARCS, she went through several different mental phases. From remaining withdrawn for the first few months, to reframing her conceptions of her captors and trying to understand what life experiences had brought them to where they were now.

She believed there must be some good in everyone, and actively sought to find the humanity in all the people sharing the camp.

Laura, now 28, is working to help put an end to violence in schools.

You can read more about Laura’s incredible story here: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/laura-ulloa-violence-schools-south-africa-festival/

What next?

We will be bringing to life the final Youth Manifesto to policymakers at the Education World Forum in January 2019 in London.

It’s there that the voices of young people from all over the world will finally be heard by those who can enact real legislative change.