What is Junior Council?
What does the Junior Council do?
What makes the Junior Council?
A Junior Council is a form of Local Government led by minors or children. It is composed of child public officials elected into office. It has the same structures as those of the Senior Council with the only difference being that it is voluntary, apolitical and almost like a social welfare group. It gives the children a unique opportunity to be involved in civic affairs and government. A Junior Council has the same jurisdiction as that of the Senior Council. It is responsible for representing all the children under its jurisdiction, be it primary school going or high school children as well as supervising any other club, in school or local based, that involves children and works with children. As the junior local government, it is also a regulatory body for all activities which deal with children or minors.

1. Child Rights Defending
This is a very sensitive area of concern and every junior councilor is highly encouraged to approach such issues with the utmost care and professionalism. NJCA believes that the best listener of a child’s problem is a child, so why look any further than the children themselves. As the saying goes, “anything for the child without the child is against the child”. It would make little sense not to involve children in issues that affect them. Of course, there are some issues and cases which require trained professionals with the requisite know how and experience to deal with certain matters. Junior councilors encourage people or children to approach established institutions such as the Victim Friendly Unit. However, increased involvement of children in other matters is also encouraged to all stakeholders. Child Rights Defending is when children, stand up for what is rightfully theirs, that is, their rights. A person is born with his or her rights and no one can take them away from him or her. Rights are inalienable. Even the constitution, the supreme law of the land, recognizes a person’s right to their rights. Unfortunately, not everyone understands that concept. Children’s rights are still being infringed upon just because, like mentioned before, they are children. It is disheartening and saddening to note that many people are still ignorant of the fact that children are their equals in terms of humanity and, therefore, should be treated as such. All rights deserve equal treatment but, over the years, NJCA has noticed that the following three rights seem to be the ones Junior councilors have dealt with the most.
2. Developing Social Consciousness
Social consciousness, or social awareness, is another aspect that JCs try to deal with and develop in children. Loosely defined, it means the active process of seeking out information about what is happening in the communities around us. This includes the norms, cultures and problems. Having a greater awareness of these leads to a better understanding and coming up with better solutions. A socially aware individual values human rights and acknowledges harmonious social interaction for the developmental progress of human beings. At junior council, all children are taught to embrace each and every person as themselves. As they get to appreciate the people around them, JCs also get a more intrinsic understanding of how the society is evolving, the different view points from different sections of the society and how best they can help and be part of that evolution. This might all seem like a lot of mumbo jumbo to many people but, put into effective practice; it brings a lot of positives. ‘No man is an island’, so the saying goes, and as such, the web that JCs are living in has a lot of strains and pulls. It is only when Junior councilors put a collective effort that Junior Councils can address the social issues in their communities. Social practices harmful to children are their greatest undoing as a developing society. The sooner the society rid themselves of such practices, the brighter their future will be, for; society is judged by the way it treats its children.
This is another question which is very important and has to be addressed. Many people are aware of the composition of the Senior Council. Substitute the word senior with junior and you get it. Junior Council is the junior local authority, with the same jurisdiction as that of the Cities, Municipalities, Towns, Local Boards or RDCs where the junior council would be based. They have the council made up of the Junior Mayor/Chairperson as the head, the Deputy, Town Clerk/ Town Secretary/CEO, Projects Coordinator, Treasurer, Public Relations Department, Chief of Committees Clerk and Directors etc. These positions are the skeleton of any junior council but they differ according to the place in which a junior council is based. These make up the executive body of Junior Council. The rest of the Junior Councilors make up the General Assembly representing various wards. The maximum number of councilors varies with the number of wards and with the number of schools in a particular Local Authority as well as the performance of the incoming councilors. Due to the high number of schools in a city, it is most often the case that there are two children from each school, whilst in smaller towns with fewer schools, there are usually five representatives from a single school. Councilors are drawn from students who will be doing their ‘O’ level and/ or ‘A’ level form in schools and colleges in the town or city. However, there may be a case where there are primary schools in the in a Local Authority’s jurisdiction that would be interested in the affairs of Junior Council and would want to be a part of the group. It is an area of concern that not all schools in places where there is an established junior council are members. NJCA hopes as the nation develops, more schools will also be incorporated into Junior Council. This is mainly because NJCA needs a situation to prevail in Zimbabwe whereby members of junior council are representative of all the different classes, races, tribes and other distinctions that are in Zimbabwe. If this is achieved, Junior Council thrust as a body would be greatly improved and junior councilors will reach a wider number of youths and children as possible.

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