• Huancavelica
  • Area: Education, Health and nutrition

A voice that makes itself heard

Alonso * lives in the district and province of Acobamba, in Huancavelica. At the age of 15, he has committed to working to promote the rights of children and adolescents. As part of this objective, he is a member of the Advisory Council for Children and Adolescents of the Huancavelica region (CCONNAH).

Alonso* lives in the district and province of Acobamba, in the department of Huancavelica. He’s 15 years old and is in his fifth year of secondary school. He participates in the Save the Children project “Improving the health of mothers and adolescents in the Huancavelica region”. For a few years now, he’s been working with initiatives that foster the participation of children and adolescents in the promotion of their rights.

As part of this aim, Alonso* is now member of the Advisory Council for Children and Adolescents of the Huancavelica region (CCONNAH, for its acronym in Spanish). This is the space of maximum representativeness of childhood and adolescence in Huancavelica, which operates like a consultative and safeguarding agency for the National Policy of Protection of Childhood and Adolescence, for the effective recognition of their rights.

In March 2021, he participated in the Electoral Forum “Gender equality at school: A challenge for the Bicentennial”. At this event, students from different regions in the country had the opportunity to present their proposals in relation to the gender equality policies
within education to candidates from several political parties. Alonso* knows that his efforts have brought him the opportunity to make his voice heard and with it, the voice of many other young people like him.

I felt good, I felt like they listened to us (…) with this event that’s a little bigger, the work that young people and adolescents have been doing for so long, is finally bearing fruit.

Alonso* prepared to present his ideas, focusing on the importance of strengthening knowledge about social media in schools, covering their advantages as well as the dangers they present. A topic that is essential nowadays.

The proposal is strengthening schools in terms of protection on social media websites, for the schools to take part in this learning.

Dedication and commitment

Alonso* has been involved in protection of the rights of children and adolescents since 2018, especially in the context of his community and his region. Little by little he has seen how his efforts reap results by finding more and more places where he can share with others what he thinks.

Back in November 2019, he had already participated in the event “Dialog with Authorities. Children and Adolescents speak as part of the 30-yearanniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child”.

Subsequently, on November 20th, 2020, the CCONNAH, along with the department of Children and Adolescents at the Regional Government in cooperation with Save the Children and other civil society organizations, held the Regional Forum “Children and
Adolescents talk and propose: 31 years have gone by, how much improvement has been made?”, in which Alonso* also participated.

He knows that this battle has a long way to go, but that it’s worth it. That’s why Alonso* encourages other children and adolescents
to also make their voice heard.

…don’t forget that all of us can and have the right to participate, nothing is impossible if I work putting in the effort, determination and dedication. At the beginning, I didn’t believe I would get this far. I always thought my participation would be very small, but look, little by little I’m making progress.

*The name has been changed according to our safeguarding policy.

About the intervention

The project “Improving the health of mothers and adolescents in the region of Huancavelica” was implemented by Save the Children in 8 villages across the region, with the support from the Latin American Children’s Trust (LACT).

By 2022, the intervention is planning to achieve the improvement of access and quality of health care for children, adolescent mothers, adolescents and young people, thus guaranteeing a healthy start to the lives of their children under the age of three, promoting the return to school of pregnant adolescents, and contributing to the prevention and reduction of adolescent pregnancies.

One of the main results of the intervention is the creation of the “life plan” which enables them to have short and long-term goals, recognizing their personal resources and the opportunities in their environment.

The project has adapted its implementation to the situation that the Huancavelica region is facing with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, prioritizing actions so that children and adolescents are safe, and continue to study and build their life plans.

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