In a world that is rapidly evolving, the well-being and development of children are of paramount importance. Recognising this, cities across the globe are undertaking initiatives to create environments that prioritise the needs and rights of children. One such city on this commendable journey is Manchester, which has embarked on the path to becoming a UNICEF Child-Friendly City. This endeavour signifies a dedicated commitment to ensuring that every child, regardless of background or circumstance, has the opportunity to thrive and grow in a supportive, nurturing environment.
Phases of Manchester’s Child-Friendly City Initiative
Manchester’s pursuit of the UNICEF Child-Friendly City status involves several well-structured phases, each contributing to the realisation of a more child-centric urban landscape.
Manchester Is In The ‘Discovery Phase’: More On That!
The initial phase of Manchester’s Child-Friendly City initiative is the ‘Discovery Phase‘. During this phase, stakeholders from various sectors, including government officials, educators, community leaders, and young people themselves, engage in a comprehensive exploration of the current status of child well-being in the city. This involves conducting in-depth assessments, gathering data, and actively involving the voices of children and youth in the process. The Discovery Phase serves as the foundational step, providing valuable insights into the strengths and areas for improvement in Manchester’s child-friendliness. Children in Manchester were asked what they wanted; this is their response:
Through robust research and collaborative efforts, Manchester is aiming to gain a holistic understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by its young population. By actively involving the community, the city is fostering a sense of ownership and shared responsibility for the well-being of its children. This phase lays the groundwork for informed decision-making and sets the stage for the subsequent stages of the initiative.
One Initiative Launched By Manchester City Council Is The Skills For Life programme Through Kloodle
Manchester City Council has the stated mission: “to ensure that children and young people have the right skills to be able to grow up happy, healthy, safe and successful”. They believe this can be achieved by creating a city-wide movement to embed Skills for Life across Manchester, promoting a common language and developing quick and easy-to-use resources. Kloodle is a digital platform where young people can identify, record and reflect on their skills development and the Skills for Life framework is the scaffolding for them to build and showcase their skills and character. Skills can be identified and developed through activities at school and also interactions with employers and youth providers in the region.
As Manchester progresses through the Discovery Phase, it is taking significant strides towards a future where children’s rights and well-being are at the forefront of urban planning and policy-making. The commitment to this initiative reflects not only the city’s dedication to its youngest citizens but also its recognition of the pivotal role that children play in shaping a vibrant and prosperous community. With each phase, Manchester inches closer to achieving the esteemed designation of a UNICEF Child-Friendly City, promising a brighter and more inclusive future for generations to come.
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