«I think it is important to stand up for them»

Maja Mihenovic is the President of the Student's Council at our project school Učitelj Tasa in the Serbian city of Niš. In the interview, the 15-yearold talks about her commitment to child rights, what has changed at her school since the start of the project and what impacts the exchange to Trogen had on her.

Maja, 15, is the President of the Student's Council at her school in Niš, Serbia.

Maja, where does your interest in child rights come from?

I had a fantastic teacher in my early school years. The issue of child rights was very clear in their lessons. We did a lot of activities based on this topic.

For example?

We had a Child Rights Week, for example, during which we tackled a different children’s right each day. We also talked a lot about child rights through the medium of Serbian literature.

Why are you involved in the Student's Council?

As soon as I heard about it for the first time, I knew that it was something I wanted to be part of. I am very interested in child rights and think it is very important to stand up for them.

What challenges do you face as its President?

Sometimes it is difficult to carry out the role alongside my regular schoolwork. But I enjoy it very much because the other children and youths are very interested in the Council. When somebody comes forward with an issue, everybody participates.

How do you perceive the cooperation with teachers and the school administration?

It is going very well. They ask our opinion on every matter and give us the opportunity to get involved. There are three teachers on the Student's Council who represent all the other teachers. They always ask us what we want to talk about at the meetings and how they should contribute.

What would you say are your Council’s biggest achievements?

Perhaps how children and youths think about violence or discrimination. We place a lot of importance on sharing knowledge, including all of the experiences from our exchange projects in Switzerland.

While we are on the subject – What did you make of your time in the Children’s Village?

It had a very formative influence on me. I became more self-confident and met new people with different opinions. My perspective changed too. I realised that a particular place can change things both for myself and for the world.