September 2012

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Telling my own story: India's child journalists

VGen with child journalists

Laura met a number of child journalists during her trip to India with VGen.
What's the first thing a young journalist should do after they graduate? Go to India, of course!

Laura Rankine, 21, has been a member of World Vision's youth movement, VGen for four years. Used to mobilising others in support of World Vision's advocacy work, she knew about global poverty issues and how to speak up for change within her own community. She wondered, though, what did advocacy among young people look like in communities that partnered with World Vision?

When the opportunity came to travel with fellow "VGenners" to India, Laura signed on immediately.

"I believe passionately in the power of words and stories, to help people understand problems on a deeper and more personal level," said Laura. "When I heard that we would be meeting child journalists during our trip to India I thought it was the best idea ever!"

World Vision has invited children across India to become "child journalists". Through film production workshops, activities and games, the children took the opportunity to speak out and gain confidence as advocates within their own communities.

After discussing themes affecting their daily lives and interviewing community leaders, World Vision helped the child journalists create short documentaries on the most popular topics.

This form of advocacy, termed "child participation", has been recognised within the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as one way children can be heard and protected against abuses of their rights. World Vision, as a child-centred organisation, supports the most vulnerable in participating within their communities and in creating solutions to poverty.

Child journalist Sadhna told Laura during her visit that, "Being a child journalist has given me an identity of myself. I have the added advantage of working with advocacy issues, to help other people."

Another child journalist, Jyothi, added: "People never used to look at us before. After we have been trained as child journalists, our community looks at us with respect and dignity."

Laura said the experience in India impressed her with the "scale of action being taken by Indian youth in their own communities. They were inspired and excited to help those less fortunate and protect the rights of other children when, by all standards, they themselves were living in serious poverty."

Are you aged 15-25 and interested in taking action against poverty and injustice with like-minded Australians? Join VGen today!

Journalists joined international development experts at the recent Melbourne Writers' Festival to discuss Telling the World's Stories. Watch the full Q&A now at

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In this edition
When goodbye is good news
Learning for a better life
Beauty and Belinda start school
Telling my own story: India's child journalists
Tim Costello writes about hope

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Last Modified: Tuesday, 25 September 2012