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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Actions with a Human Rights approach

International Service Bolivia aims to develop and promote Human Rights. Currently, our main project is the International Citizen Service (ICS) programme; volunteers promote Human Rights through activities in children´s centres. The goal is to develop sustainable action with the community. The meeting between the community and the volunteers allows for constant and mutual learning.      

We also know that charity itself is not enough. That is the reason why our objectives are focussed on maximizing the potential of the people we work with. Because of this, we can identify what Human Rights actions may include. Such as:

The community of Escobar Uria, on the periphery of La Paz.
Programmes, projects and activities built with the community. Working with the community is our first priority. Working collaboratively with the community we achieve real proposals and reachable results. Together we identify the problems, we propose the actions and we share the leadership of the actions. The volunteers work directly with the community, they get involved, they meet and support the group that they work with. In ChildFund we work in children´s centres supporting educators and implementing activities created in partnership with the children and young people that we work with.     

Comprehensive vision of the issues. A comprehensive vision of the issues implies working at different levels. On an international and national level, advocating laws and norms that could be promoted for the human rights of the people. A second level would be working with social organizations and the civil society so these can be strengthened.

On a daily basis we work with the kids in the children´s centres, but we also work supporting the educators, families and the community. A clear example of our work would be the fairs inside the centres that we support in order to talk about human rights. That way we reach the attention of the kids and their families. 

Two of our ICS volunteers, Ana and Jade, working at Jilañataqui with Gretzel and some of the children who attend the centre.

Supporting the Human Rights machine. We use the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other pacts and conventions, accepted by Bolivia to guide our actions. The national constitution informs our decisions, as do local norms.        

As volunteers we apply international norms such as the Convention of the Rights of Children and Young People. This provides a framework within which we can prepare activities on relevant topics. Through simple activities like designing murals with the kids in Avance Comunitario we promote what this convention is about and reflect with the kids about their rights.     

Aiming to obtain sustainable results. Through the empowerment of partner organizations and children we obtain sustainable results. Training them as active citizens they will acknowledge the power of their actions. This empowerment makes them agents of change.

The activities we do with the volunteers on a long-term basis aim to transform realities, promoting equal opportunities. A product of this approach is the Human Rights Module created by volunteers, which helps facilitate working with children to be trained as subjects of rights and duties.

Volunteering involves providing tools to the community that are to guide to develop actions and projects. When working with the community there is a constant and mutual learning, which creates a dynamic learning experience; the community learns from us and we learn from the community.            

Prioritizing populations living in vulnerable situations. Focusing our work towards marginalized and excluded populations in Bolivia, which in many cases are not aware of their rights and live in vulnerable situations. We always work with populations which have a  greater risk of their rights being violated, because we believe that a country cannot progress if the rights of all people are not being met.


View of La Paz from Escobar Uria on the outskirts of the city, where one of our Jilañataqui centres is located.

Children and young adults are the groups that we work with as volunteers. Many of these children do not know their rights and are at risk of having their rights violated. Considering all of this, International Citizen Service (ICS) volunteers  seek to achieve a positive impact in communities through activities which actively promote Human Rights.


Original version in Spanish written by Angie Lorini.

Translated into English by María Renée Trigo and Kelly-Marie Roberts.

Para leer éste artículo en español, haz clíc aquí: http://icsbolivia.internationalservice.org/2014/04/child-fund-acciones-con-enfoque-de.html



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