10-year-old Chichester boy’s inspirational Uganda trip

A 10-year-old boy from Chichester is hoping to inspire his fellow pupils after returning from a trip to Uganda.

Jessie Younghusband primary school pupil Stanley Wilkes found out how child rights clubs are changing communities in the slums around Jinja and wants to put what he learned on his trip into practice.

Stanley went to a child rights club meeting in Loco and heard how the club has succeeded in getting children into school, stopped abuse, and cleaned up the community.

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He also attended a workshop in Wandago, where the club presented to over 100 children from the local primary school, teaching them about their rights and responsibilities.

Stanley Wilkes with the Loco child rights club in Uganda

Stanley said: “The children go home and tell their parents about what they’ve learned, which changes things, but they also teach other children by running their own workshops and talking to them around the community, which works really well.

“It seems like children learn from other children, who are slightly older, a bit better sometimes, and they find them easier to talk to as well.”

Stanley is a member of the student council at Jessie Younghusband and his dad works for Chichester charity Children on the Edge, which supports some of the most marginalised children around the world.

Stanley has presented his findings at a full school assembly and has ideas about litter picks, teaching about child rights, writing to local government about the environment and doing a poster campaign.

Paul Neaves, deputy headteacher from Jessie Younghusband, said: “We’re looking forward to the school council putting into practice what Stanley has learned in Uganda and leading an assembly about the rights of the child in the new year. They will also be inviting children to come and find the school council at surgeries and then putting together small working parties to tackle problems as they arise.”

One of the highlights of Stanley’s trip was playing football with some of the children.

He said: “I really liked playing with the children, it’s no different to playing with friends at home. They don’t play video games, but apart from that it was the same.

“I feel like the world sees a lot of people in poorer countries as gloomy and isolated, but they’re not, they’re enjoying life.

“The main thing I can learn from them is that they believe in what they do, and they don’t let anything get in the way.”