The right of children to participate in decision-making in all matters that affect their lives is a well‑established legal principle and plays an important aspect in making their future ready. We at Miracle Foundation India, firmly believe that decisions that are made with the involvement of children are better accepted and practiced by them, thus Youth advocacy is an integral part of our work.
This initiative is propelled by the Youth Ambassadors, who were once a part of Child Care Institutions (CCIs) supported by Miracle Foundation across India. The Youth Ambassadors Program strengthens current child participation systems and utilizes external resources so that children are empowered to propose and work towards issues related to children’s rights -- especially the right to a family -- at the individual child level as well as within the surrounding community. They are empowered to actively engage in the improvement of the child care and protection system at all levels, with a focus on family-based care (FBC) and alternative care.
We recently inducted a fresh batch of 5 Youth Ambassadors who will join the existing 8 Ambassadors, carefully chosen from 78 applications that we received from children living in Miracle-supported CCIs across India.
Albert was raised in a CCI in Trichy, Tamil Nadu. He got separated from his family at an early age due to the death of his parents.
Today, he is out on his own and working as a Math teacher in a Sr. Secondary School in Manaparai, Tamil Nadu. Albert is part of our Youth Ambassador program and effectively communicates and presents his ideas, views, and opinions to people involved in decision-making for the children. He regularly interacts with other children and youth living in Child Care Institutions people in an inspiring and engaging way.
He is a great advocate of children growing up in families and enjoying their rights.
Akshata is from a CCI in Titwala, Maharashtra. She is currently studying in her last year of B.A. Economics. She is also working in the old age home of the Mukta organization. She didn’t have a good start and got separated from her family and spent most of her childhood in a CCI.
Akshata understands how difficult it is to live without a family. She is determined to help children who are separated from their families, build their understanding of child rights, and also support them financially when there comes a need.
Antu is from a CCI in Agartala, Tripura. She is studying in 12th class and working tirelessly for the betterment of children living in CCIs, even before she got selected for the Youth Ambassador program.
“At CCI we get the facilities and always miss the love and care of a family. I want to do everything possible to make sure that children live with their parents. Being a part of the Youth Ambassador initiative, I feel more responsible and want to lead other children and youth towards a future with family” says Antu.
She wants to be a teacher and work in her community to strengthen the family system and ensure that all the children get to live in a family.
Sivranjani spent 12 years in a CCI in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Today, she doesn’t even remember her parents and how she got separated from them. That's all past for her, now she is working as a clinical psychology assistant at Vazhikatti mental health care center and research institute.
Sivranjani firmly believes that every child should get career guidance right from the beginning to build a successful career. She regularly supports children living in CCIs, helps them in personality development, leadership qualities and developing communication and social skills. Sivaranjani is a true inspiration and beacon of hope for the children separated from their parents.
After the death of her father, who was the only earning member, it was a challenge for her mother to provide good care quality education to Dipa. And finally, she landed up in a CCI, in Agartala, where she has spent 10 years of her childhood.
After a decade, things have changed and she too has moved on. Today, she is studying Nursing and dreams to work at a hospital caring for the people in need of help and care. Dipa was selected as a youth ambassador due to her immense zeal to stand up for the children to make their voices loud enough to be heard.
Dipa strongly advocates that the voice of young people is heard whenever new policies are developed and decisions are taken so that the outcomes meet the needs of children and youth living in the child care system.