To be a “child-friendly city”, to give everyone equal opportunities and to listen to new generations

This label, which is renewed every six years, identifies and promotes municipalities committed to implementing policies in favor of young people. 11 cities in the Alpes-Maritimes and 9 in the Var have the status of “child-friendly city”.

It claims to be a pioneer town in the Alpes-Maritimes department. Since 2004, the town of Mouans-Sartoux has held the “Child-friendly town” label. Apparently for Gilles Perole, a qualified teacher and deputy mayor in charge of children, education and nutrition.

The aim is to inform children, but also adults, about children’s rights. It is important to be part of a dynamic and to work in partnership“, explains the chosen one.

In total, 11 Maralpine towns and 9 Var municipalities are part of this network set up by Unicef. 10 kilometers south of Mouans-Sartoux, Le Cannet has held this distinction since 2006.

Not all children live in the same territory with the same benefits. We try to give everyone the same opportunity for free time, help with homework, service offers…

Arielle Perronnet-Micaelli, Head of Education at Le Cannet Town Hall

In the city of 41,500, particular emphasis is placed on solidarity, waste, the environment…

We want to show them that it is possible to do something other than the tablet by connecting with others and that we can have fun gardening or making art so that they too can become actors. They are future citizens‘ continues Arielle Perronnet-Micaelli.

But so is he issue of disability. Of the city’s 3,100 children around sixty are affected. “We build a bus for them that is equipped with sensory aids“, explains the head of the education department of the town hall of Le Cannet.

There are more or less powerful lights, sounds, an armchair that adapts to the shape of the body, foam… The goal is for the child to be in a soothing environment. This allows him to calm down, calm down, play longer…

To join this network, founded in 2002, Unicef ​​calls on cities to commit to five points, in line with the International Convention on the Rights of the Child:

  • to ensure the well-being of every child
  • Fight against exclusion and all forms of discrimination
  • offer a quality education
  • Developing and valuing each child’s participation and engagement
  • Creation of a partnership with Unicef ​​​​to respect children’s rights in France and around the world.

In Mouans-Sartoux, Children make up almost a quarter of the 10,000 inhabitants. Suffice it to say that the question of the happiness and well-being of new generations is important.

We work to tackle air pollution near facilities that welcome young people, we work to ensure girls have the same access to leisure activities as children, we support parents and young people in the challenge of puberty…

Gilles Perole, deputy mayor for children in Mouans-Sartoux

In total, just over 200 people work on childhood-related topics at the Mouansoise town hall. Conferences or workshops set up, several projects have emerged, for example the inventory and signage of cycle paths and footpaths. “The children have a very unified and ecological vision of the city‘ continues Gilles Perole.

Once a month they produce posters with organizers (felt, paint, etc.) that are then hung around town. “Right now there is one on peace. There was also one about a child suffering from a rare disease‘, Gilles Perole clarifies.

Give them a voice, make them aware of the environment, but also listen to them. Thus, the college students of Mouans-Sartoux were the origin of an evolution in their diet.

The children integrated that they have the right to express their opinion, for example on organic food. The rector of the university listened to her and in November 2019 her institution became the first 100% ecological university in the department. Mouans-Sartoux is now the only 100% ecological city in France, from kindergarten to university.

Gilles Perole, deputy mayor for children in Mouans-Sartoux

All these actions are carried out in collaboration with Unicef ​​​​which supports and accompanies the communities represented in its system. With an annual highlight: the International Day of the Rights of the Child, which is celebrated on November 20th.

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