Now in their fifth year, PEPY’s Child Clubs are going through some more changes. Inspired by the idea that children should be encouraged to identify, share and communicate solutions to problems they face in their community, the Community Development Team has been working hard to improve the learning experience of the children who take part in Child Clubs. The team hope these changes will allow participants the time and facilities to tackle more advanced issues, and provide them with more support from program facilitators.
Previously, Child Clubs were open to participants aged between five and 14 years of age. The difference in ability and the issues faced by the youngest members in comparison to the eldest, varied greatly. This year, we are restricting the age of the participants to 11- 14 years old. By working with groups closer in age, Child Club facilitators are now able to encourage the participants to look at more advanced issues relevant to their age. In turn, this will further improve participants’ communication and problem-solving skills – which were perhaps not challenged enough when clubs were catering for younger members.
Child Clubs encourage participants to act as role models in their communities. PEPY hopes that the current members will encourage those too young to attend this year to apply when they turn 11, showing them how much they have learned during their time at the Child Clubs before progressing on to the Young Leader Clubs.
Another change is that each club can now only have a maximum of 18 members. By limiting the number of children, facilitators can work with all participants and make sure everyone involved gets a chance to share their ideas equally. This year PEPY has 14 different Child Clubs throughout Kralanh district, with 245 members in total. This number is lower than previous years due to the limit on age range reducing the number of potential participants. Despite this issue, PEPY feels that the changes made to Child Clubs will improve the focus of the workshops and allow the youth involved to gain a greater sense of community and leadership.
Saly, our Community Development Program Officer says that he hopes the changes will give the children more opportunities for practical problem solving and public speaking. We hope that this year’s members will benefit from a more focused approach to community problem solving and enjoy the challenge ahead.