/ 23 August 2023

THE ATENEO Human Rights Center signed a partnership agreement with the city government of Mandaluyong for its Children Teaching and Learning with Kids program.

The Memorandum of Agreement signed early this month revives the ChildTALK program which was initially established by AHRC in 2012.

The program aims to empower and equip children with basic knowledge on child protection laws and how to protect themselves through existing legal mechanisms.

“This year, with the support of the European Union, through its Justice Sector Reform Programme: Governance in Justice, and in partnership with the Mandaluyong City LGU, AHRC revived and enhanced the program to make it more responsive to the needs of children especially in terms of protection and understanding of their rights,” Ateneo said in its website.

Under the program, children will be trained with basic child rights concepts so they can “empower, educate and train other kids in their respective communities.”

Children from economically disadvantaged communities are selected to attend sessions and module trainings that will help them “understand their rights, learn how to protect them, and develop skills and teaching tools for teaching other kids about children’s rights.”

Also, the program provides a non-intimidating and child-friendly avenue for children to learn together with their peers. ChildTALK graduates, meanwhile, become child-friendly trainers and facilitators who can lead learning sessions and activities for children.

“The City government of Mandaluyong plays a very significant role in the realization of the program’s goals and objectives. ChildTALK 2023 participants are child and youth representatives of different barangays in Mandaluyong City through the partnership with the Local Council for the Protection of Children and the office of the Mayor of Mandaluyong City,” Ateneo said.

“Training sessions will tackle issues highlighted in previous children’s consultations, such as online sexual abuse and exploitation of children; cyberbullying; adolescent dating and pregnancy; sexual orientation and gender identity and expression issues; and mental health,” it added.