Children as campaigners

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By Teresa Saunderseducational journalist and children’s writer

Juan David lives in Medellin, Colombia, one of the most violent places in the world where armed gangs and groups are continually fighting. He is campaigning against violence and conflict in his neighbourhood

Learning objective

  • to realise the consequences of bullying
  • to resolve differences by looking at alternatives
  • to research, discuss and debate topical issues

‘There are violent gangs, as well as guerillas and paramilitary groups fighting for control of our city. Sometimes, the fighting is so bad we can’t go out of the house. The children also fight. Some kids play with guns that shoot pebbles. They copy the grown-ups who fight with real guns. Mostly, the children fight because they like teasing each other. Someone hits someone else and they don’t like it, so they fight back.

‘I have been voted class representative for our Living Together programme. I help the teachers to try to resolve conflicts between children. We have a special place where children can go to try to talk through their differences instead of fighting. We have workshops where everyone in our school and community can work out ways of dealing with the violence and lack of respect.

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