Summer of C1 – NINE, a National Children’s Virtual Platform for a Noble Cause

New Delhi [India], July 12: PRATYeK, an NGO that networks with CSOs globally have recently curated a virtual national platform, Summer of C1 – NINE for school children from 6th to 12th std. across pan India. The month-long program was scheduled on weekends of June. It was free of cost, fun-filled, and focused on creating positive, productive, and proactive young warriors. Through this virtual platform, children learn new skills like painting, music, art, puppetry, dance, storytelling from professional artists like Andreas Ceska, Nadia Jamil, Arthur Kuggeleyne from across the globe. Children shared their improvised video recordings based on the art taught to them and the best entries will be selected and promoted by UNICEF’s #YoungWarrior YuwaaH campaign. More than 3000 children from 200 schools across India had participated in this workshop.

Being hopeful, Mr. Steve Rocha, Executive Director, PRATYeK, says, “Challenges make heroes. It was a challenge of climate change, inequality that created Greta Thurberg and Malala respectively. The pandemic has orphaned many kids. Some may become prey to depression and the social evils of society. NINEISMINE rolled out a platform for them to become Covid warriors and agents of change; a space to hone skills, and express & engage, and learn new skills for a better life.”

This unique platform of Summer of C1-NINE ensured child participation and child-led advocacy through virtual creative mass training every weekend intending to equip every child with the skill of using innovative & imaginative means to become young advocates in collaboration with UNICEF’s YuwaaH initiative. YuWaah has created the Young Warriors Coalition as a partnership to catalyse a pan-India movement to mobilise and arm 5 million “Young Warriors” to combat COVID-19. Besides, the 15 Covid appropriate tasks by the Ministry of Health, the NINEISMINE’s campaign –  Summer of C1-NINE also adds the 16th challenge to encourage vaccination among people.

The farewell program, “Bid Fair-well” was culminated on Friday, 2nd July at 5:30 PM, where chosen & compiled videos of the young attendees were released to bid farewell to the C1-NINE program. In addition, celebrity bands – Subir Malik and Parikrama pomped up the celebration. The former UN Resident Coordinator in India Ms.Renata Dessallien addressed the occasion while children from communities across Jammu Kashmir, Manipur, Andaman, affected by the loss of parents due to Covid spoke and made an urgent appeal for their future. This was a booster for an art auction to ensure that daily rations meet families of Covid affected and more importantly ensure that hunger and starvation do not become a factor for children slipping into child labour, child trafficking.

Ms. Renata Dessallien Former United Nations Resident Coordinator in India was one of the key speakers of the fundraising event and shared her thoughts on the work done by PRATYeK | NINEISMINE on child rights and earth rights. “I am impressed by the way PRATYeK engages young people as champions of COVID19 Appropriate Behaviour”. She further added, “During the second wave of the pandemic in India, PRATYeK set up relief camps, ration distribution centres, and distributed millions of hot meals & ration kits to the last mile.”

PRATYeK convenes the NINEISMINE campaign, which is a national advocacy initiative of, for, and by children. It is a participatory children’s advocacy initiative, launched in 2006 to keep our government accountable to fulfil the SDGs then called MDGs. The young people of NINEISMINE have actively undertaken and participated in various activities promoting child rights at the national and international levels. NINEISMINE involved 1, 20,000 children in the UN My World Survey, which led to the present Sustainable Development Goals formation.

The initiative has received a Special Recognition Award from the UN Head Quarters in New York, for engaging children across the country in the formulation of the new Sustainable Development Goals. Children are trained to use varied democratic processes like the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report for India, the National General election Manifesto among various other initiatives. For more information please visit- www.pratyek.org.in

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