In light of International Children’s Day and Child Safety Week, we wanted to draw attention to understanding what safety and space mean to a child and how they would portray safety to the world. Children need to identify safe spaces around them and that safe space should make them feel secure and protected.
A very innovate idea of engaging art has made the entire program a colourful one. Careen Joplin Langstieh, Rangskhembor Mawblei, and Bala Kharngapkynta, renowned artists from our state, helped facilitate the “expressing through art” session, which allowed children to express themselves safely. Interestingly, all materials used were natural resources readily available in the community, such as turmeric, charcoal, twigs, and leaves. The children were given ivory sheets where they could draw their own safe spaces. Many children expressed that home is a place where they feel safest. Others said that being surrounded by trees in the field and by the beautiful scenery made them feel safe.
Ms Iamonlang Syiem, the Chairperson of the State Commission, interacted with the children and encouraged them to speak up for their rights and informed them that the commission is there to serve the needs of every child.
As we concluded the safety week, our children signed a petition asking for the Honourable Chief Minister of Meghalaya to implement a Personal Safety Education Program in all Government Schools in Meghalaya, leaving their handprints on a canvas.