28 students to hold positions in Sana’a local council [Archives:2008/1136/Local News]

March 10 2008

Alia Ishaq
For the Yemen Times

SANA'A, March 9 ) Children gathered at 28 different schools and associations on last week to participate in elections, supervised by the Democratic School and the Supreme Committee for Elections and Referendum in Sana'a. Four hundred and fifty candidates, including 250 girls, participated in the elections, which chose a student representative from each of school and organization to participate in the Local Council for Children.

“The elected children will deal with issues that concern them, like planning activities and projects that will benefit Yemeni children, as well as dealing with environmental problems in their neighborhoods and schools,” said Jamal Al-Shami, principal of the Democratic School. “The children will also attend [council] meetings and express themselves alongside adults,” he added.

The elected children included 15 boys and 13 girls. Three members of the group are special needs students, while another three belong to the marginalized al-akhdam people.

The marginalized and disabled students participated in the elections as well. The marginalized gathered for their elections near the Hilltown hotel and disabled students met for elections at special centers where they study and receive treatment.

The election is a project of the Child Protection Initiative, a non-governmental body that promotes children's rights. The elections are also supported by the World Bank and the Arab Urban Development Institute (AUDI), a regional non-governmental, non-profit urban research technical and consulting organization.

Afrah Hamood, an 8th grader at Om Salamah public school in Sana'a, said she has high hopes for the Children's Local Council. “We want to be able to have more activities, a library at our school and cultural programs, in addition to music classes,” said Hamood.

Hamood's friend, Samar Hamed, said she thinks that the elected children will make positive changes for children and Sana'a at large. “We want better care for the environment and more attention towards children's right issues,” said Hamed. “”I'm very optimistic!””

“”I'll do my best to fulfill my promises