The Alliance for Childhood is an international network of people and organisations, acting nationally and locally. The aim of the Alliance is to raise awareness in society of the importance of a good and healthy childhood, promoting the development of human beings able to build a society based on a culture of peace, environmental sustainability and respect for all differences.
Children in the City
In a city like London, children and young people are mainly invisible. Yet they are members of the society in which we live. The overall concept of city design involving things such as transport, traffic, movement of people, environmental considerations, architecture and space created by developments is important. Planning and design which takes into account the needs of the young person creates a city which is healthy for all society.
Giving Space to Grow
It’s important to encourage children and young people to leave their screens and computer games and go out to play. Movement is necessary to develop motor skills and keep fit. It avoids obesity, a serious problem especially in South East London, and supports mental health. Free play develops social skills. All this helps creativity and self-assurance. There are many spaces in London which provide this type of activity and which need to be protected and maintained.
The Quality of Childhood
When societies improve the quality of childhood, there is a benefit for both the children and the society in which they live. The image of the child that policy makers and other stakeholders develop with regard to children determines the way that policies are implemented. It is therefore important to be aware of what this image is.
The Image of the Child developed through the Alliance for Childhood has the following characteristics:
- Children are endowed with the inner potential to grow, learn and communicate and to participate in their own way and have their own rights* within society.
The child is an agent of his or her own life in relation to others.
- The quality of children’s relationships with adults and other children affects their growth as human beings in either a positive or a negative way.
- Adults who are sensitive to children’s needs are there to help unfold their uniqueness in the knowledge that a child is not an object to be modelled into shape by adults.
- Children are co-creators of our world and transform it.
* The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Elsa Rossi, Sylvia Morgado, Marie Williams, Emma Stow, Marion Briggs, Clara Rocha.