Many current social challenges are due to a lack of community participation in governance and the lack of a platform to address these issues. TEWFI recognizes the importance of people’s participation in self-governance and are educating, organizing, empowering and networking the children through a programme called “Children’s Parliament”. Under this programme, following an election, children are nominated as Ministers for Health, Finance, Education, and other portfolios. Each minister and his committee will have a specific role to play.
All the children nominated as Ministers are delegated responsibilities and some of the children who are members attend regular meetings conducted for them. This experience is extremely useful for the children in order for them to learn about the Indian executive government system. It also supports children taking more responsibility and teaches them skills about good citizenship.
Children’s Parliament convenes its formal meeting every week and the members discuss any issues or problems put forward by each minister. The social worker also teaches the members life skills and values useful for deciding how best to deal with the problems before them. As a result everyone participates actively in finding solutions for the community problems.
Success story: Recently members of the Education Ministry were actively involved in the renovation work of the Community Library. TEWFI inaugurated the Library. It was not well maintained due to the irresponsibility of some members of the community. Inside the library some adults consumed alcohol and left plastic and other rubbish there. The group of children under the leadership of Education Minister met the leaders of the Community and explained the situation. With the support of the leader, the library was cleaned. Now the children maintain the Library and it is being used by many people and it is kept very clean and tidy.