The Alliance for Children Development Rights (Alliance), our local partner, has launched the “Voices of Children” Mongkok & Yau Ma Tei group in their centre. It aims at exploring the present conditions, issues and solutions to improve the playgrounds in the community of Mongkok & Yau Ma Tei. Children participants then converted their understandings to questions in a survey to collect feedback from their community. They finally compiled the survey results, shared their opinions, feedback to their district councillors and transform the opinions into models at the community engagement workshops to show the improvement of the Tong Mei Road Children Playground.
Facilitator training was one of the focuses in stage 1. It was designed to equip volunteers, who came from different disciplines but showed interests in child participation, with the abilities to be our facilitators and to co-work with the children throughout the project. Training topics covered child rights, practical skills for special workshops as well as COVID-19 precaution measures.
After recruiting children from different channels, the Alliance arranged interviews with a simulation activity in which all children were placed on a deserted island to observe their ability to express, listen and empathise. 11 children, aged 7-11, were selected and offered a series of capacity building workshops. Throughout the workshops, children could understand their rights and ponder on their relationship with their community.
Children participants understood the ideation process of child-friendly facilities in Hong Kong and the present conditions of the playgrounds in their community, the issues and possible solutions through field trips and exploration activities. However, due to COVID-19 precaution measures, outings were prohibited. Thus, The Alliance set up mock outing venues in their centre for children to get the experiences of “outings” in another way.
The activities were called “Pop-up Playground”. Children participants compiled their viewpoints and suggestions in form of survey and interviewed the public in their community.
Children participants shared their views about the local playgrounds with different stakeholders in the community through activities such as “Dialogue with District Councillors” and “Community Tour”. Some participants even joined the community engagement workshops for Tong Mei Road Children Playground— “Together We Play. Play, Engage, A New Place” to ideate the future Tong Mei Road Children Playground!