CHS students vote for the World Children’s Prize

Advocating and education about children’s rights, making children aware of some hazardous child labour in other parts of the world, The World Children’s Prize awards superb leaders in the pursuit of rights for children, and also educates children themselves

As Challenging Heights president, Dr. James Kofi Annan, was nominated for The World Children’s Prize in 2013, Challenging Heights School became a Ghanaian base for the organisation’s campaign to protect children’s rights around the world.

After Senior James won the prestigious award, students at CHS, as well as four other schools in Winneba and nearby Senya, participate in a rigorous voting process, to select future Prize winners.

Because of our efforts to bring about awareness of children’s rights, The World Children’s Prize thought Challenging Heights to be the perfect fit to help them educate children and distribute their magazine. Though the magazine, children are made aware of how individuals and organisations are protecting the rights of children in many other areas of the world.

In the five schools participating in the voting process, we established children’s rights clubs. Children are given World Children’s Prize magazines in May, near the beginning of the 3rd Term, and they spend time reading and discussing together. They share the magazines, which is where they learn about the nominees and other empowering information.

Ambassadors from the clubs serve as peer educators to the rest of the children who will be voting.  Our field team supervises, but the children facilitate the events. There are “debates” held through the third term of school, where students will separate into groups to represent the three nominated candidates. The groups talk about their candidate and try to convince their fellow classmates that their candidate should receive the award. After campaigning, the children organise voting.

Students issue ballot papers and show their classmates to the voting booth, explaining the candidates. They take care of counting ballots and announce to their schools who won the event.

In a way, our field staff explains, the children are learning to elect leaders.

Each of the schools involved in Ghana are in the Central Region, and students in grades 3 to 9 participate.

The children voted for their candidate of choice before school let out for August Vacation, and so as our schools’ results are in, the global announcement of a winner should come by November.

Instead of only honouring world leaders who advocate and encourage change, the children themselves become part of the recognition process. Children across the world are learning; they are empowered as they are given the choice to select winners, long after our own leader, Senior James, took the prize.