Children’s Court to promote children’s right and sense of belonging
The 8th of September 2014 saw a Children’s Court art exhibition launched in The Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings, Stormont sponsored by Anna Lo MLA. This exhibition was created by children participating in the BELONG programme.
BELONG is a family support programme that works with Black and Minority Ethnic children aged 7-12 years old, and their families, which highlights the importance of Children’s Rights, Cultural Identity and inclusion for all in increasing an overall sense of BELONGing.
Speaking about the exhibition, Corinne Jordan, BELONG Programme Officer for Cultural Confidence and Competence said,
“As a BME family support and Children’s Rights programme, it is our job to ensure the voices of the Ethnic Minority Children are not just heard but really taken into account. Our 2013 Children’s Court event enabled the children to put their views directly to Statutory and Community service providers, and hold them to account.
As the children begin to prepare for our final BELONG Children’s Court in 2015 where there will be an opportunity to meet some of the children behind the creation of these art pieces, listen to their concerns and share good practice and information, it is important to showcase their fantastic work to such influential people today.”
In attendance at the Children’s Court Launch were representatives of children’s services throughout Northern Ireland and many MLAs, who all agree on the important role we play in the lives of our children and the future of our increasingly diverse communities. On Wednesday the 10th of September a number of children from the BELONg programme visited Parliament Buildings to see their artwork in situ and to learn about how the assembly works.