It wasn’t until the end of her human rights class as a law student in Greece that Vera Karanika realized, this was probably the first time she received any kind of human rights education. Reflecting on her youth, she realized that many kids in Greece tend to leave school overwhelmed with information that will soon fade away. What was not included was knowledge about what human rights are and how to uphold them in their daily lives. Having finally experienced that herself, she decided to act.
Kidopia is determined to empower children to speak up against injustices, make freer and more informed choices and contribute to their communities and society as a whole.
Upon returning from her Humanity in Action Fellowship in Berlin, Vera founded Kidopia, a team of young professionals with legal and education backgrounds based in her hometown of Thessaloniki. By facilitating workshops and organizing events, Kidopia aspires to raise human rights awareness among children, promote experiential and inclusive learning and gradually shape behaviors that uphold human rights. Kidopia’s first workshop “My body: A map of knowledge!” based on Compasito, the Council of Europe’s manual on human rights education for children took place during KIDOT festival, the largest kids festival in Thessaloniki. Marking Kidopia’s beginning, the workshop utilized art to help children discover their abilities and knowledge, raise awareness of ways and sources of learning and discuss the right to education.
We focused on the importance of school for the holistic development of the human personality. As a child highlighted, however, informal learning occurring through the participation of children in daily activities that contribute to their community are also vital for acquiring life skills and knowledge.
Forming societies in which each of us is empowered to respect, protect and promote human rights for all is a challenge. Urging children to adopt a human rights perspective on their everyday experiences, Kidopia is determined to empower children to speak up against injustices, make freer and more informed choices and contribute to their communities and society as a whole.
Kidopia is here to stay!
Future developments will include:
- Expanding curriculum on topics of equality (racial, social, gender), environment and migration
- Creating a website
- Collaborating with more organizations and individuals
If you are interested in contributing to Kidopia’s work, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for Vera’s information.