Children’s voices sought for international project A Message of Hope

Children’s voices sought for international project A Message of Hope

by Freya Lucas

April 26, 2022

Artworks, photographic images and written responses contributed by children from many different countries are being sought for an international project designed to empower them to share what is special about their lives, producing and creating individual and unique responses to share with other children across the world.

 

The Voices of Children builds on a project established by the University of Wollongong 14 years ago, and invites children from three to six years of age from around the world to exhibit their art both in a virtual gallery exhibition, as well as in (soon to be announced) international galleries in major cities around the world.

 

By participating in the project children will have an international voice, and create and share meaningful works with one another as part of an initiative that is by children, for children. 

 

“Children can and should influence the world around them” the mission statement for the project notes. “Through art children are empowered to share what is special about their lives, producing and creating individual and unique responses to share with one another.”

 

The project aims to enable young children from across the globe to capture moments in time, highlight their creativity, share their art and tell the world what is special to them. 

 

“Children and educators play a significant role in ensuring a child’s positive identity,” project coordinators note. Through participating in the project educators, parents and children work in harmony to create special artworks which reflect the culture or world in which they live. 

 

The L.A.U.G.H App allows children to express themselves electronically

 

The L.A.U.G.H App can support children’s virtual and electronic mark making and can encourage families to contribute to and work with their children on creating artworks. The App is evidence based and has been proven to improve focus, self esteem and an overall sense of connectedness and belonging in children. 

 

Guidance for Educators 

 

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services are invited to participate in the Voices of Children International Project. 

 

Children will be invited to participate by creating artworks and/or by expressing their original ideas and thoughts. Project creators suggest that educators sit with children and write down their ideas, but caution that while meaningful discussion is welcomed, the aim of the project is to gather children’s original ideas, not the ideas of adults. 

 

Prompting questions include: 

 

  • “How can we make the world a better place” 
  • “If you could do anything you want, what would you do to change the world?” 
  • “We live in a great and beautiful world… if you were able to do just one thing to make it a little bit better what would you do?”
  • “Why do you love living in (town/suburb/country)?”
  • “What makes (town/suburb/country) special?”
  • “Our country is different from other countries – what makes it different and special?”
  • “What makes your family special?”
  • “What has been the best part of the COVID-19 pandemic?What has been the worst part?”

 

Once responses have been gathered educators will select children’s artifacts and children’s messages to be displayed on the 1st Voices of Children International online Gallery that will open to the world later this year.

 

The 1st Voices of Children National Exhibitions will be hosted at a country level by the schools/early years centers participating in the project and Cultural Centers or Galleries in major cities across the world to share with parents and the local communities.

 

An evaluation of the initiative will be conducted and an academic evaluation of children’s artifacts will be conducted to gain an understanding of children’s responses to the world in which they live. The final Report will be shared with major international, regional and local stakeholders.

 

Participating early learning centres and schools will receive the following support: 

 

  • The “step by step process” on how to submit children’s artifacts and children’s messages that will be displayed on the 1st Voices of Children International online Gallery,
  • Access to the Voices of Children international online community for educators to find resources and to upload children’s artworks and children’s messages
  • The official announcement and invitation letter to share with parents, 
  • Access to the Recordings of (3) Voices of Children Training sessions hosted during the 2021 Bright Start International Conference,
  • Invitation to join the 2022 Voices of Children Training Session to support preparations for hosting the Voices of Children Exhibition in your centers

 

To participate in the Project please complete the form found here

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