The rights of refugee children
Reunited many children with their families through his radio show
Nyarugusu refugee camp, Tanzania
At the age of seven, Baruani has to flee the Democratic Republic of Congo to escape the war and violence of soldiers. In the process, Baruani loses his mother and younger brother. He arrives at Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania. He still lives there today.
Adults must listen to children
Baruani: “The life of a child in a refugee camp is hard and difficult. There are shortages everywhere. But the worst thing is growing up without a future.” At the age of nine, he was given hope. He learned about the existence of children’s rights: "I was really surprised. The fact that children have rights and that adults have to listen to them. For the first time ever, I dared to speak out about my bad situation. That changed my life.”
Baruani becomes an active member of the children's parliament in the camp: "By defending my rights I’m working on my future. And I tell all the children here that they must do the same. It’s the only way to get away from here. Empowerment is more important than food. Making your voice heard is a true necessity."
Sisi Kwa Sisi
He starts the radio program 'Sisi Kwa Sisi' (Children for children) at Radio Kwizera. In the program, he and 20 child reporters discuss all the problems, challenges and frustrations that children in refugee camps face. Baruani tells children that they have rights and he listens to their stories. He teaches them to speak from their hearts and not to be afraid. It’s been an amazing success.
Children reunited with their families through the radio
Every Sunday, thousands of children and adults are glued to the radio. Not only in the camp, but far beyond. thanks to appeals in the program, many children have been reunited with their families.
“If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more!”
"You have to learn that. That’s why I participate in programmes like the 'Child Voice Out Programme'. We help children practise so that they feel able to speak in public. That’s good for their self-confidence and gives them hope. What’s more, education is the key to the future.”
Supported by the KidsRights Care and Study fund, Baruani recently received his high-school diploma. He is now in the process of registering for a university. Baruani wants to study journalism or social work.
KidsRights empowers Baruani to be a strong changemaker for children on the run. With his actions, Baruani strengthens the knowledge, skills and confidence of nearly 800 child refugees per year. They learn about their rights, the importance of education and tolerance, practice sports, and discover their talents. But most of all, they learn that they matter: they can all move the world.
KidsRights, through the International Children’s Peace Prize Project Fund has boosted Baruani’s impact for children, through which the lives of the children at Nyarugusu camp have improved. A library and a computer center have been built; children in Nyarugusu are now able to study, read and collect information online. Furthermore, the children receive extra help at school in order to improve their performance.
Under the guidance of Baruani, sports competitions are organized for children inside and outside the camp. Baruani’s radio shows and the children’s parliament, allow child refugees to learn about their rights and speak out.
“Divided we will fail, united we can build. I believe in you.”
Baruani is one of the founding members of The KidsRights Youngsters; a unique youth-led advocacy and awareness raising platform of the International Children’s Peace Prize winners, that aims to realise children’s rights, as outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. As leading young changemakers, they act locally, speak out to world leaders, influence policy, and engage children and youth worldwide.
Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security
Baruani was invited - from over 11.000 applicants - to the speak about the challenges of refugee children at the Forum in Amman, Jordan. The resulting Amman Youth Declaration was used to engage high-level decision-makers towards the adoption of a new international framework on Youth Peace and Security, which culminated in the adoption of Resolution 2250 in 2015, the first resolution ever to focus entirely on youth in the context of armed conflict.
Advising the International Criminal Court
The KidsRights Youngsters have partnered with the Court in the development of their Policy on Children. This policy enables the Court to more effectively investigate and prosecute war crimes against or affecting children.