Activity 1: Handout 1: Definition of participation

What is Participation?

Participation in youth and children’s work is listening to children / young people so they can be involved in:

  • Decision making
  • Planning
  • Shaping
  • Evaluating impact

Especially in the things that affect them

Every child has the right to say what they think in all matters affecting them, and to have their views taken seriously. Article 12: UN Convention of the rights of the Child, Unicef 1989

Why should the church engage with Participation?

Because it:

  • Enables children / young people to have a greater sense of ownership and belonging
  • Offers churches a different perspective and fresh ideas
  • Offers the possibility of generations listening to each other and shaping a different future together
  • Helps all to feel valued for who they are and what they bring

1 Timothy 4: 12 - Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity


“In working with children / young people, do not try to call them back to where they were, and do not try to call them to where you are, as beautiful as that place may seem to you. You must have the courage to go with them to a place that neither you nor they have ever been before.” Vincent Donovan Christianity Rediscovered 1982 quoting one of his students