Advocating For Children's Right
“I want to be an advocate for the rights of children, like me, who were deprived of enjoying a normal childhood.”
*Adham is 17 years old. Since he was 10, he has lived at SOS Children’s Village – Bethlehem. In 2016, Adham was a finalist for the Children’s Peace Prize as an advocate for the rights of children.
Adham’s situation is unique. He lived with his grandparents as a child. Due to his background, Adham did not have official papers or an identity card. This made it hard for him as a child to have them same rights as children, such as enrolling in school.
When his grandparents became too old to care for him, Adham came to live at SOS with his SOS mother Mama Nabeela.
“Adham was in shock when he was first brought to the village by his grandparents. He used to stay isolated from other children, but that soon changed as we tried to make him feel home.”
Mama Nabeela and other SOS staff encouraged Adham to participate in activities with the other children. They worked hard to gain his trust and encourage him to participate in positive activities.
“Children who have been deprived of their rights grow up having a lot of negative feelings and they might be angry enough to acquire negative behavior. It is necessary to invest this energy in the right direction and turn it into positive behavior of people who want to become successful and that can only be done when we provide them with a loving family’s care and support.”
Adham is now 17 and about to graduate from high school. He is passionate about advocating for children’s rights and wants to be a lawyer, so that he can keep advocating for the rights of children who have stories like his.
“I have lost a lot of my rights as both a child and a human being growing up with no formal papers. SOS Children’s Villages was the reason I was able to overcome all the difficulties caused by that situation as they fought to get my rights back. I believe that each and every child can be a successful person if they are able to enjoy equal rights and therefore I want to be an advocate for the rights of children who had special circumstances that deprive them from enjoying a normal childhood.”
Name of chid changed for privacy purposes.