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In late 2012 and early 2013, consultations were held in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi with boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 17 years who were living without parental care. Participating children were living in the following circumstances:
- those living with extended family (Malawi, Ghana, Kenya)
- those living and working on the street (Malawi, Kenya)
- those living in residential care (Kenya, Ghana)
- those living in detention (Kenya)
- those with disabilities living in residential care (Kenya)
The children spoken with in Ghana were also children who had been until recently living with employers, mainly in the fishing industry.
The purpose of these consultations was to explore with children their priorities for a framework to replace the current Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) when they come to an end in 2015. These discussions were part of a broader consultative process that has taken place with approximately 600 children in seven countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.
In each of the three countries, a workshop-based approach was used, in which boys and girls participated in a series of activities designed to enable them to share their experiences and perspectives in a fun and engaging manner. These groups varied in size, depending on the needs and abilities of the participants. Each workshop was approximately 1-2 hours in duration, and we generally spoke with boys and girls separately. The average size of each group was 6 children, and in total, 35 workshops were conducted. Roughly equal numbers of boys and girls, both younger (8-12 years) and older (13-17 years), participated in these consultations.
The focus of these workshops was on learning from children about the following:
- things that make them feel happy and safe in their communities and families
- things that make them feel unhappy and unsafe in their families and communities
- things that they would like to change about their lives and the lives of other children in their communities and beyond.
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