The children who form their own government

When we visited Musaiya village in Sierra Leone today, we were able to speak to some primary school children who have formed a children’s government, supported by their local mothers’ club . They were so inspiring!

By Natalia Hahn
By Natalia Hahn

These children take on responsibilities that most children would never consider. Most of us are not used to having schoolchildren cleaning their own schools, maintaining toilets (outdoor latrines), fetching water, maintaining a garden, teaching other about hygiene, organising school assemblies, managing sports activities, taking care of vulnerable students, advocating to keep girls in school, deciding on important tasks for maintaining the school property, taking attendance, etc.

By Natalia Hahn
By Natalia Hahn

These children are voted into their positions by the whole school, and hold titles such as president, vice president, secretary, minister of education, minister of agriculture, minister of health, minister of sanitation, minister of information, and minister of finance.

These children are proud of their responsibilities and take them very seriously. They hold meetings and make requests to both the mothers’ club and to the principal about changes they want to make in the school.

They take on these responsibilities every day and even come to school much earlier than the rest of the students—sometimes after walking for up to 45 minutes to school.

By Natalia Hahn
By Natalia Hahn

Because of them, other students are empowered and have a voice—they have a say about how their school is run and what issues are important. For some schools, acquiring or fixing a well is the first issue on the list. For others, it is finding a supply of soap for the outdoor handwashing stations.

These children are so thankful for the opportunity to go to school, to be educated. They are so proud of their schools that they volunteer so much of their energy and time to make their educational experience that much better. What an inspiration!

English
    Natalia Hahn