Children’s rights celebrated in Birmingham

A Reflection on how I felt at the Birmingham Children’s Rights Celebration 

In early July Rights Respecting Schools in Birmingham came together to celebrate their work by spreading awareness and knowledge of rights. The celebration event was attended by over 700 children and teachers who came together for a morning of performance, art and film onstage at the REP Theatre.

Sanah Mehmood from Saltley Academy, Level 1

“When I first got to school, I was nervous but thankfully, my friends put me at ease. Once I got into the taxi, I started to try and think of anything other than the REP Theatre. It was nerve-racking, on top of that, I was scared about messing up in front of hundreds of people and letting Saltley Academy down. However, despite the nerves, I was excited beyond belief. It’s a huge once in a lifetime opportunity to represent your entire school and talk on behalf of children all around the world and on stage in our city’s most prestigious performance space.

“Despite my nerves I was thankful that I was able to be a part of it. Once I got there, the feeling was over-whelming. Seeing how many people were there and seeing adults who are part of Unicef was inspiring along with being able to see the support that people give to ensure that children get their rights.  I was impressed with the stage and the seating and how grand it all looked.

“We sat down and it was amazing watching all the performances because it was clear to see the hard work and effort put into each of them and especially by the younger children. Once it was our turn, we went up on stage and stood in our starting positions. I was being paranoid because I couldn’t see the microphone hanging downwards so I was worried that my voice wouldn’t be projected enough, but I managed to say my lines with as much confidence as I could, making my voice project to the top row of people.

“The applause we got was really nice and also, hearing the BBC presenter Trish Adudu comment on our performance made me feel really happy. Once we got to our seats, we got complimented by all the teachers including Mrs Mabey and Mr Weir and overall, it was just an amazing feeling and a confidence boost. We watched and listened to all the speeches from people including a speech from the head of children’s services and Brigid Jones who is a local counsellor responsible for schools, which was truly inspiring and I now have an ambition to help out all children around the world as much as I can. It was hands down one of the best experiences I have had and I hope to have another one like it in the future. “

Sanah, first from right on the front row, said performing at the Birmingham REP Theatre gave her confidence and inspired her to help other children around the world.