Child Agency

Participation is intrinsically related to empowerment. Without genuine empowerment, participation can quickly become tokenism or a way to maintain power relations; similarly without meaningful participation, children cannot be empowered to take action.

Empowerment and participation are considered in Arigatou both means and ends, processes and outcomes.

For Arigatou International, we believe in the importance of fostering the agency of the child and strengthening a culture within the organization and in the work with our partners that enable children to have their say, work together with others and make a difference in their communities.

Being able to make choices and decisions to influence life events and to have an impact on one’s world, gives children the opportunity to develop their identity, sense of purpose and contributes to their well-being.


Silvia Mazzarelli, GNRC coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, talks about why participation is important for the development of the child and how we can avoid adultcentrism in order to ensure a meaningful participation of children in all aspects and decisions that concerns them.