From “The Smile of the Child” directly to the United Nations:
for the first time a Greek Organization will participate in the UN’s Department of Global Communications Youth Representatives Steering Committee!
A great success story achieved by the young people of the YouSmile Network and the Children’s Rights Group of “The Smile of the Child”
We are proud to announce that two of our young members of the European Student Volunteer Network “YouSmile”, who also participate in the Children’s Rights Group of “The Smile of the Child”, have been accepted to serve as active members of the United Nation’s Department of Global Communications (DGC) Youth Representatives Steering Committee.
As representatives of “The Smile of the Child”, Rania Papadopoulou and Lefteris Dafermos were selected as members of the Committee, along with 13 other young people from around the world. The final selection was made after personal interviews and submission of information and reports/certificates referring to the activities of the Organization.
Overwhelmed with pride, the President of “The Smile of the Child”, Mr. Costas Υannopoulos, stated
“Going back 25 years ago, my son and founder of “The Smile of the Child” set one of the best examples of how children hold the power to change our world. Andreas Yannopoulos has been the driving force of this Organization that was established upon his request and in his loving memory. We are proud that our young people make a difference by putting theory into practice and striving towards turning Children’s Rights to Children’s Reality.
We are confident that their excellent work will prove that they are worthy defenders of Human Rights, and in specific the Rights of the Child, as they have done so far. They will do their utmost to tackle global challenges effectively, cooperating with the other delegates for the management of Youth-related critical issues. Our two youth representatives share the same passion and possess the necessary skills to become excellent ambassadors, worthily representing Greece and our Organization in the United Nations”.
The Youth Representatives Steering Committee of the Department of Global Communications (DGC) was established in 2009. Its main objective is the empowerment of young people and the enhancement of their role in the United Nations, by enabling them to actively participate in decisions that affect their lives. Aiming to create the right environment where young people will not be considered as vulnerable groups in need of protection, but as active members of society and powerful trendsetters of change.
The members of the Committee are selected for a period of one year, their age should be between18-32 and they must actively participate in organizations (NGOs) by organizing and promoting actions for young people that are in line with United Nations goals. The potential delegates must also participate in NGOs that are associated partners of the UN Department of Global Communications, cooperate with the UN Department of Global Communications and receive a positive evaluation every year.
YouSmile is the European student voluntary network of the Organization “The Smile of the Child”. YouSmile is the only Greek active volunteer Group for young people and it consists of students who volunteer to actively defend children’s rights. In its 8 years of operation from 2012, more than 15,000 young people have participated in volunteer activities offering relief to children in need. The Group also organizes events to raise awareness on issues that include: school bullying, child abuse, missing adolescents and children, addiction to gaming and social media, safe internet use. YouSmile participates in international decision-making forums such as the European Union, the Council of Europe, the United Nations and major child protection networks such as Eurochild. With the active participation of its volunteers, “YouSmile” essentially expresses the voice of young people in Greece, but also young volunteers from other countries.
The “Child Rights Group” comprises student volunteers of the Organization “The Smile of the Child” in an initiative called “YouSmile”. Children get educated about their Rights and then carry out actions to promote them. In addition, they represent the Organization internationally with the mission of promoting and implementing child participation in decision-making.