WINNER OF THE CHILDREN’S RIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL ON SABA ANNOUNCED

The film Rights to Healthy Food by Quinten van Drunen, Jenee Matthew, Elisey Richardson, Ruegenne Matthew was announced as the winner of the Children’s Rights Film Festival on Saba on Saturday, October 10th.

Since early this year children of the Sacred Heart School and the Saba Comprehensive School have been participating in the UNICEF Children’s Rights Film Festival (CRFF). Through this project, children have learned about their rights and have been actively involved in children’s rights by staring in and making their own short scripted film about a child’s right that they feel strongly about.

The process started with a lesson on children’s rights and a drawing contest about the children’s favorite right. The winner of the drawing contest was 13 year old Keon Peterson, form 1 from the Saba Comprehensive School, the 2nd runner up was 9 year old Quinten van Drunen, Grade 4 from the Sacred Heart School, and the third runner up was 11 year old Jayquan Charles, Grade 6 from the Sacred Heart Primary School. Keon, Quinten, and Jayquan’s drawings formed the basis of the scripts for the short films featured at the local premiere on Saturday. The children and their peers were supported to create and produce the films by their Film Coach Adam Watkins from Chizzilala Productions. Implementation of CRFF on Saba was supported by the Child Focus Foundation and local project coordinator Dahlia Hassell.

The winners: Quinten van Drunen, Jenee Matthew, Elisey Richardson, Ruegenne Matthew

Children on the other five Dutch Caribbean islands have also been participating in the CRFF. The winning film from Saba will proceed to the regional CRFF finale to compete with winning from the other islands. Due to the ongoing Corona crisis, the finale will take place virtually on Saturday, November 21st.

The CRFF is a UNICEF Netherlands project funded by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. The focus of the project is to raise awareness about children’s rights in a creative and playful manner. Film making is a perfect tool to reach this objective. The project is a part of the broader children’s rights approach of UNICEF Netherlands and the governments of the Dutch Caribbean to support professionals, parents and children to further improve the children’s rights situation in the Caribbean part of the Netherlands.

Ms. Alisia Wilson, Child Rights Coordinator of the Public Entity of Saba,  emphasized that, “the rights of the child recognize that all children have the right to family care, love, treated with dignity and fairness to be protected. To develop their full potential and to participate in decisions that impact their lives. In this case this film festival is a great opportunity where the children can express themselves”.

Though the local project coordinator, Ms. Dahlia Hassell, was unable to be present at the event, she reiterated, “that these forms of art expression like acting in films or music or drawing are crucial for a child’s development especially when words do not suffice. It allows them to explore their feelings with hard to explain topics such as freedom of thought and religion”.

Why children’s rights

Every child and young person has rights, no matter who they are or where they live. By signing the Convention on the Rights of the Child the world made a promise to children: we will do everything in our power to protect and promote children’s rights to survive and thrive, to learn and grow, to make their voices heard and to reach their full potential

When learning about children’s rights, children learn that they need to respect the rights of other children and adults by not bullying one another, but also by for example listening to their parents or teachers.

Learning about child rights empowers children and adults to bring about change in their immediate environment and the world at large to ensure that the rights of all children are fully realized.

For updates follow the KRFF page on Facebook : facebook.com/unicef.filmfestival

Dahlia Hassell

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