Kidz of The Day: Opening Doors to Children’s Participation Through Art and Collaboration

KIDY 2023

In the dynamics of society, the role of children becomes increasingly crucial for the progress of a nation. Children’s participation is not just a moral obligation but also a necessity to support their development as individuals with rights, responsibilities, and potential that deserve recognition. Understanding the levels of children’s participation, as explained in the Ladder of Participation theory, becomes a crucial foundation for developing activities that enable children to participate responsibly in society.

The involvement of children in the development process is not solely the responsibility of parents but also requires support from various stakeholders. The Pentahelix theory, encompassing government, industry, academia, NGOs, and media, serves as the basis for collaboration in achieving this goal. In this context, the Rumah Impian Foundation and Yogyakarta State University collaborate to organize an exhibition of children’s works, “Kidz of The Day,” with the theme “Enhancing Children’s Participation.”

The exhibition aims to guide children towards higher levels of participation in line with Roger Hart’s concept of the participation ladder. Through this collaboration, it is hoped that children can understand their roles in community development.

Levels of Children’s Participation According to the “Ladder of Participation” Theory:

  1. Manipulative: Children have no active role and are merely objects of decisions.
  2. Decorative: Children are invited as ornaments without influencing decision substance.
  3. Token: Children’s participation is limited to symbolic levels.
  4. Information: Children are provided with information but not actively involved in decision-making.
  5. Consultation: Children are consulted, but decisions remain in the hands of adults.
  6. Collaboration: Children and adults work together in decision-making.
  7. Empowerment: Children take initiative, direct, and make decisions on their own. Children’s participation is not only recognized but also forms the basis for actions and policies.

Through this exhibition, it is expected that children can understand their roles in projects shaping their surroundings. The activity not only supports the concept of the Ladder of Participation but also encourages more effective and meaningful participation from children. The exhibition serves as a platform for children to actively participate in social, cultural, and educational activities, aligning with the Pentahelix theory encompassing five main pillars.

On Tuesday, December 5, 2023, the event will include theater and dance performances, allowing children to express their ideas and talents. The purpose and objectives of this activity are to provide children with opportunities to move up the ladder of participation, from the informational level to collaboration. Additionally, it aims to engage educational institutions actively in realizing children’s participation rights.

With the presence of the “Kidz of The Day” event, it is hoped that children can actively engage in shaping their own futures, while also inspiring relevant stakeholders to continue supporting children’s participation in various aspects of life.

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