Colourful Hopes Association (Rengarenk Umutlar Derneği-RUMUD) received a grant from our Donor Advised Fund to implement its communications strategy by employing a communication expert, and increase the visibility of the association’s activities of furthering children’s rights.
Read below our interview:
Can you tell us about the plans and priorities of the Colourful Hopes Association (Rengarenk Umutlar Derneği – RUMUD) for 2022?
As RUMUD, we recently prepared our strategic plan for 2022-2024. We have eight main targets:
- Institutional capacity development,
- Forming a network focusing on children’s rights in the management of natural and human-induced crises,
- Establishment of the Peace Village,
- Establishment of the Early Childhood Education Centre (in line with the program developed),
- Development of the Children’s Rights Academy,
- Establishment of the Children’s Rights Monitoring Centre,
- Implementing monitoring activities,
- Developing international partnerships.
The point we want to reach through these targets is to further develop our institutional capacity in the field of children’s rights, establish local cooperations and partnerships and put the issue of children’s rights on the agenda of the region, develop effective advocacy against child rights violations, and to continue monitoring, reporting and documentation.
As can be seen in our report “Increased Child Labour in the Pandemic: The example of Diyarbakır”, lack of access to education paved the way for children to be employed.
In addition to the pandemic, the economic crisis also made the already fragile groups more vulnerable to risk. How did this affect the children and their families in the region? In this context, can you tell us about the changes in the needs of the groups you work with?
The pandemic has created new areas of violation alongside existing child violations. We can say that children are included in the unqualified workforce informally in this period when digital inequality of opportunity is even more visible. As can be seen in our report “Increased Child Labour in the Pandemic: The example of Diyarbakır”, lack of access to education paved the way for children to be employed. Insufficiently operated control mechanisms increased the number of child workers in this process. While the problem still continued, the economic crisis caused the children to continue working instead of returning to education. We continue to develop effective advocacy tools for combating the increasing child poverty and cooperate with local actors on this matter.
The number of children who meet the definition of children living at risk due to the pandemic’s impact increase every day. What kind of work do you carry out to support children at risk living in Diyarbakır?
Although it appears that the pandemic did not have a significant impact on children’s physical health, children are the most affected. Children of all ages and from all countries are exposed to the pandemic’s socio-economic effects. In some cases, children are affected by measures that do more harm than good, and these effects seem to last for many years.
The pandemic has more harmful effects on children living in poor countries, poor neighbourhoods or children who are already disadvantaged.
Unfortunately, the harmful effects of the pandemic are not evenly distributed. The pandemic has more harmful effects on children living in poor countries, poor neighbourhoods or children who are already disadvantaged. Children are affected by the crisis in three ways: the direct transmission of the virus, the short-term socio-economic effects of the pandemic measures, and the long-term consequences of delaying the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
As RUMUD, we carry out activities to make visible the effects of inequality and inadequate measures on children in Diyarbakır’s Sur district through reports, press releases and campaigns. At the same time, our efforts to empower and raise the awareness of children and their caregivers who attend our workshops continue.
You organise activities with children where you use recycled materials in different ways. Can you tell us about the aims of these activities? What kind of transformation occurred in children’s perspectives on the environment and environmental problems due to these activities?
We prepared our policy document for a sustainable environment and integrated it into all working areas of the association. However, we also carry out various activities to improve this awareness and increase children’s sensitivity to the environment. One of them is the “Upcycling Workshop”.
With the workshop, we transform something recycled into raw material and transform an unused material into something that can be of use. Through this workshop, children transform unused materials into toys. Our main goal is to increase children’s awareness, but with this method, children’s creativity, hand skills and imagination also develop.
What is important for us is to ensure child safety while carrying out communication activities.
With the grant support provided by the Turkey Mozaik Foundation under the Donor Advised Fund, you will implement your Communication Strategy, which was prepared in July 2021. As an association working in the field of children’s rights, what did you prioritise when developing this strategy?
As a civil society organisation, we are aware that visibility is crucial. Our recent advocacy and campaign efforts have once again shown that digital platforms play a central role in the impact of these activities. However, what is important for us is to ensure child safety while carrying out these communication activities. For this reason, we have built our strategy on a discourse that focuses on children’s rights, does not agitate children, and emphasises that all children have and should have equal rights.
The communication expert employed with the grant support will implement our communication strategy in harmony with all the principles of RUMUD, especially our child protection policy. With our communication model that centralises child safety, we aim to set an example for other organisations working in the field of children’s rights.
RUMUD develops and implements socio-psychological and cultural projects to provide equal cultural and social opportunities for children and women who are affected by the conflicts in the Sur-Diyarbakır region. The association organises workshops on arts, gender equality, and respect for differences with 200 children each year and has a toy library through which children can access toys for free. RUMUD also implements activities for women, such as International Women’s Day events, film screenings, and reproductive and sexual health trainings.