My Rights, My Voice

Youth community members perform a cultural show as part of a health awareness-raising campaign in Banke District, Nepal. Credit: Bal Krishna Kattel, Oxfam.

At a glance

My Rights, My Voice engages marginalised children and youth as active citizens and supports them as they claim their rights to health and education services.

Overview

My Rights, My Voice (MRMV) aims to empower marginalized children and youth to know and claim their rights to health and education services. This innovative three year programme is running in Afghanistan, Georgia, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Tanzania and Vietnam, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). 

The belief behind the MRMV initiative is that children and youth have a right to free, good quality health and education services. They also have a right to voice their needs, to hold their governments to account, and to be listened to as members of society and rights-holders: as 'active citizens'.

MRMV works with partners and directly with children and youth, their allies, and duty-bearers to strengthen and support young people's voices and ability to claim their rights.

Objectives

Almost half the world's population are under the age of 25 and 85 per cent of those live in developing countries. Despite this, young people, especially girls and young women, are rarely involved in making decisions that affect their lives and do not always have the relevant information about their choices or rights. My Rights, My Voice aims to address this.

MRMV's four key objectives:

• To increase children and youth's awareness of their rights to health and education services.
• To strengthen children and youth's and their allies' skills and capacity to claim these rights.
• To facilitate opportunities for children and youth to engage with duty bearers (e.g. health and education ministries, teaching and medical professionals, religious leaders) which lead to specific actions delivering better access to and quality of health and education services. 
• To strengthen Oxfam and our partners' capacity to work on youth agency and support our global campaigning force to facilitate youth claiming and accessing better health and education.

Resources

Key resources are listed here, find out more on the MRMV online community

  • My Rights, My Voice: The Power of Youth for Change 
    16 MRMV youth campaigners' vision for future change, planned and filmed by them in Nairobi in December 2013.
  • Three advocacy films around health rights, planned, filmed and edited by 12 Nepali MRMV youth campaigners in February 2014:
  • My Rights, My Voice Global Advocacy Workshop comic strip 
    In December 2013, My Rights, My Voice held a Global Advocacy Workshop in Nairobi for youth partners. This comic strip story shows how 16 MRMV youth campaigners came together with Oxfam and partner staff to network, share and strengthen their skills around advocating for child and youth rights to health and education services. 
  • My Rights, My Voice Nepal - Participatory Video for Health comic strip
    12 youth campaigners from the Nepal project took part in a two-week Participatory Video workshop In January 2014. This comic strip tells the story of how they learned the skills and planned, filmed and edited three advocacy films on community health care issues. 

The My Rights, My Voice Youth Journey

How the MRMV Journey has changed the lives of 8 youth activists, planned and filmed by them.

MRMV Nepal – Our Right to Health Care

A five minute overview film about health rights created by 12 Nepali youth campaigners.

Latest blogs on My Rights, My Voice

Raising voices, demanding rights – Youth Day 2014

The late, great Nelson Mandela once said: "young people are capable, when aroused, of bringing down the towers of oppression and raising the banners of freedom." For International Youth Day, young campaigners involved in our My Rights,... Read more

Why education has the power to change the world

In the second of three blog posts about our My Rights My Voice Programme (MRMV), programme coordinator Sitan Cisse shares her experience of growing up in Mali, and how it has motivated her to campaign with young people for the right... Read more

Lights, camera, action: raising youth voice through video

How can young people in developing countries take action over issues that affect them? Imogen Davies explains how our My Rights, My Voice programme is supporting under 25s to convey advocacy messages through film.

"A maternity unit to save our mothers, wives and sisters." Young people leading change in Niger

As we celebrate International Youth Day, Weifane Ibrahim explains how young people are leading change in rural Niger with the support of Oxfam's My Rights, My Voice project.

International Literacy Day – helping children and young people to claim their rights to education

For over 40 years now, UNESCO has been celebrating International Literacy Day by reminding the international community that literacy is a human right and the foundation of all learning.

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