Children as researchers training in Nepal – strengthening the life skills of young people

In the HER CHOICE programme, not only we explicitly address the root causes and consequences of child marriage and child pregnancies, we also work on supporting girls and boys in understanding the world they live in, we help them to develop the necessary skills to take decisions based on their understanding, and empower them to become agents of change in their communities.

An example of such interventions is the Children as researchers training course ICDI’s Steve Smith and Asia Koerten gave last week, together with local partner CWIN, in Nepal.

Children have long been the ‘objects’ of research, whereas the Children as researchers approach empowers children to become researchers among their peers.  In this way we enhance them to the role of protagonists in analysing, interpreting and narrating their world, feelings and experiences through their own eyes, ears and words.

Amongst the benefits of children conducting their own research are that they learn by doing, and develop life skills and strategies such as: making choices, reflecting, critical thinking, etc. Their learning is also advanced through motivation and ownership, achieving success and being heard. And the process contributes to sharpen their social, communication and organizational skills. 

Involving children in research also greatly benefits the work of organizations, as the outcomes of research conducted by children and youth can provide original and useful insights and inputs to develop more tailored and effective strategies and approaches.

Last week in Hatauda – Makwanpur district, close-by the border between India and Nepal – 15 Nepalese facilitators, teachers, programme managers and psycho-social counsellors were trained on the Children as researches approach.

In the coming years, in the framework of the HER CHOICE programme, they will train and supervise groups of young people in their communities in 4 districts of Nepal to shape and conduct research among their peers on topics such as child marriage, early pregnancies, school drop-outs, child labour, etc.

We are looking forward to the results!