October 5, 2016
Tranent heads to United Nations
When communities start to think about what their futures might look like, one of the great ironies is that those with the biggest stake in that future – children – are routinely excluded from the process. That’s not a criticism that could ever be levelled at the East Lothian town of Tranent where there can be no doubt as to how its children see the future their community. These children are so proud of their collective efforts that they went all the way to Geneva to share their vision for their community with the United Nations.
Last month 15 children from Tranent, East Lothian, participated in the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child’s Day of General Discussion in the Palais des Nations, Geneva. The theme of the day was Children’s Rights and the Environment. These are the youngest children ever to participate in such an event and the first children from East Lothian to go to the UN. They proudly wore Tranent Tartan kilts for their visit.
The invitation to participate in this prestigious event follows the children’s participation in their local town centre regeneration project StreetsAhead Tranent which is part of Scotland’s Festival of Innovation, Architecture and Design. Incorporating the views of 250 children in Tranent schools, the children created a large scale mural reflecting their own, and their classmates’ views about the town’s past, present and future.
Because of the quality and impact of the children’s engagement in this project, Children’s Parliament, IPA (International Play Association) and the Children and Young People’s Commissioner in Scotland invited the children to join an international project looking at children’s rights, play and the environmental factors that impact on them. The international project is Under the Same Sky. Funding was also provided by East Lothian’s Fa’side Area Partnership.
A film combining each country’s work was shown at the event on 23rd, the Scottish children spoke to Committee Members in the Palais des Nations and conducted tours of their mural.
On its return the mural will be permanently located outside Ross High School to be used by the local Community Planning Partnership to inform the town’s ongoing development.
To view a short film of the children’s trip to Geneva, click here