Child Municipal Committee Briefs Queen Rania on Its Elections, Activities

February 12, 2007

(Jordan Times - Amman) Seventy-seven girls and boys on Monday briefed Her Majesty Queen Rania on their participation in the Child Friendly City Executive Agency, launched with the Queen’s support and the help of the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM).

The Child Friendly City Executive Agency (CFCEA), a translation of the GAM’s childhood policy, was initiated after the 2002 Amman conference, “Children and the City,” and the launch of a document on the GAM’s policy and priorities for childhood in 2005. The 77 young people from four areas of the capital, who shared their hopes and aspirations with the Queen, were elected as members of Child Municipal Committees by their peers at government, private and UNRWA schools. The selection was based on ideas they offered on ways to serve their communities and schools. “What you have done proves that democracy is not just a matter of slogans, but a practical application, and your experience in determining the priorities of your areas and working to deliver these services is an application of the principles which seek to ameliorate the standard of living,” Queen Rania told the youth. Commending the participants’ democratic practices, the Queen also invited them to visit the Children’s Museum, which will open in April. The Queen said she would like them to visit the museum to learn about the project and get acquainted with the exhibits. In the presence of Amman Mayor Omar Maani, participants from the Yarmouk area briefed the Queen on their election experience, explaining how it helped reinforce their belief in the importance of dialogue and respecting the opinion of others. Other participants, representing the Basman area, gave a briefing on their training programmes on time management, problem solving, planning and organisation. CFCEA Director Taghreed Fakhouri explained that the agency’s training programmes were also provided to some GAM employees, including park guards, librarians and others who deal with children, in order to promote their communication skills. The committees’ role focuses on giving children, from different areas in Amman, a voice in GAM to ensure decisions taken at the municipality serve the best interests of children and meet their needs. Committee members will participate in the design and implementation of child-led projects that respond directly to their needs. The initiative is a good governance system committed to achieving the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and translating them into activities at the local level so that children can live a decent life and have the chance to influence decisions that directly affect their lives.