The Children’s Summit


The Children’s City Project.


In September 2007, a group of experts gathered to conceptualise the project. Many individuals and organisations involved in this process still support the work of MIDI today. These include the Chairman of the MIDI Board of Trustees Mr Babu Baijoo, as well the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Commerce, CINDI Network, Child Welfare, University of Kwa Zulu Natal, Youth for Christ, Child Advocacy Centre, South African Police Services and Thandanani.

The process continued when in March 2008, a task team started work on drafting the project proposal: The Children’s City Project (CCP): Facilitating Children’s Vision for Msunduzi in 2020. The proposal described a 12-year programme to transform Msunduzi into a model Children’s City through a process inspired, designed, driven and developed by children in dialogue and partnership with adults. The children’s own vision for the City would drive the project, thus giving real voice to the children of Msunduzi.

In 2010, the project proposal was submitted to the National Lotteries Board (Arts, Culture and Heritage) In May 2012, MIDI was granted funding for a three year period.

Three main activities form the core of the project, namely:

  • The Children’s City Study

A comprehensive review of the state of childhood in Msunduzi, including demographic, socio-economic and psycho-social aspects. The study will audit services and support for children, incorporating a review of existing information and resources. The study will involve child and adult respondents to provide inter-generational perspectives on children’s needs. It will include child-centred participatory methodologies that ensure that children are both the focus of the study and actively involved in its design, conduct and authorship

  • The Children’s Development and Innovation Park

This facility is situated in the heart of the City, with the purchase of the property at No 33 Alan Paton Avenue, Scottsville. From this site, MIDI facilitates a range of activities dedicated to serving, preserving and celebrating childhood in Msunduzi.

  • The Children’s 2020 Vision and Plan

This has developed as the Safe Passages Project where the children of Msunduzi are envisaging the future of the City and outlining actions to realise the vision by 2020. Much has been written by international organisations such as UNICEF, UNESCO and others on the theme Growing Up in Cities. We live in an urbanising world where more and more children will be living in cities. Is Pietermaritzburg a safe, secure child friendly City?


Progress and Achievements.

MIDI has convened many consultative forums with stakeholders over the past two years. We have also engaged the services of CINDI for the training of a group of children from selected schools in the principles and practices of participation. These children are confident to speak out about their rights as Change Ambassadors for the City. This year, the Change Ambassadors have addressed a Full Council meeting of the Msunduzi Municipality, and have participated in three recent events in the City hall. These children are totally committed to working with us on creating THIS CITY as a CHILD FRIENDLY CITY.  We know that we need to achieve nine building blocks for UNICEF to recognize THIS CITY as a Child Friendly City:

  1. Children’s participation.
  2. A child-friendly legal framework.
  3. A city-wide Children’s Rights Strategy.
  4. A Children’s Rights Unit or coordinating mechanism.
  5. Child impact assessment and evaluation.
  6. A children’s budget.
  7. A regular State of the City’s Children Report.
  8. Making children’s rights known.
  9. Independent advocacy for children.


The Children’s Summit.

This is a one day event for 200 delegates, which will include the Change Ambassadors and other invited children as the programme is designed for child participation. Through the assistance of Mrs Sanelisiwe Ndlovu we have secured the free use of the City Hall.  We are inviting a range of speakers, including UNICEF.  We have drawn up an income and expenditure budget, which is attached. There are costs which we hope to secure funding for and these are indicated.

See registration form is attached below.