Martha, Bercky, Ebude and Keranso are heading for the small fishing village of Kange, on an island in Cameroon. They’re singing at the tops of their voices to drown out the noise of the boat’s engine.
“We are World’s Children’s Prize Child Rights Ambassadors,” explains 15-year-old Bercky. “We travel to poor and isolated places to teach children about their rights, which they wouldn’t know about otherwise.”
Girls count, too!
As ambassadors, we travel around explaining about child rights and that everyone – even girls – has the right to go to school. We often use The Globe’s story about the former prize-winner Malala, the girl from Pakistan who fights for girls’ rights. It works very well for us, as things are similar here in Cameroon. Here, too, girls don’t count. Poor pupils can sometimes be isolated at school. They might feel inferior and be afraid to speak out or answer questions. If you’re also a girl and poor, things are even worse. We tell girls and their families that girls are worth just as much as boys, and are entitled to have their voices heard. We can actually see that things are slowly but steadily changing for the better thanks to our work. Girls are starting to count and to be treated with respect in areas where we’ve been. My dream is to be a nurse in my own hospital for poor people, and to help people for free.
Ebude, 15, WCP Child Rights Ambassador, Koel Bilingual Institute, Tiko