Achham: 13-year-old Jauwa Khanal recently shared a platform with UML CA member Bhaire Kami, Maoist CA member Sarad Singh Bhandari, and John Brittain, Chief of Communication for UNICEF Nepal. Jauwa was chairing a program for the launch of 'The State of the World's Children 2011: Adolescence – An Age of Opportunity', which took place in Mangalsen, Achham district, on 11 March.
Jauwa walked for two days from Rama Roshan-4 to Mangalsen to take part in a two-day workshop conducted by the NGO Coordination Committee for UNICEF, on the problems faced by and opportunities for adolescents. The youngest of 28 participants, she jointly released the report and concluded the launch. Participants also staged plays followed by a cultural show.
The report examines the condition of 70 million children across the globe. Saying that children's issues should be taken seriously, Brittain said, "Providing education and health facilities is not enough for adolescents. We should listen to them and consider what physical and psychological discomforts they may be suffering from."
Third grader Jauwa tops her class even while helping out her mother at home, and has seven siblings. Her father rears goats. At the start of the workshop, she was understandably shy. But two days wrought a transformation. By the end of the program, she was addressing a public gathering.