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Child protection training report ..

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Love of the Child with support from Children At Risk Action Network organized and trained 16 community adults from Katanga in child protection for the period of 3 days. …

Love of the Child with support from Children At Risk Action Network organized and trained 16 community adults from Katanga in child protection for the period of 3 days.

Training Objectives.

The training was aimed at educating the participants about child rights and how they can ensure that issues concerning children are addressed. Creating awareness about child protection was the major goal of this training and at the end of the training, there was need to have a community based child protection committee created and linked to existing legal and social frameworks in the Katanga community to enable them spearhead efforts to protect children from any forms of abuse of their rights, freedom and responsibilities

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  • 1. CHILD PROTECTION TRAINING REPORT TRAINING CONDUCTED BY LOVE OF THE CHILD AT THEIR OFFICE FROM 8 th TO 11th 2013. REPORT SUBMITTED TO: CRANE VIVA DATE: 4TH NOV.2013 SUBMITTED BY ABOUT US LOVE OF THE CHILD ORGANISATION (LCO) was established in August 2010. It is a non profit making organization and registered with the Ministry of Internal Affairs NGO board in 2011 purposely to provide a comprehensive and caring support services to the street children,Orphaned and other vulnerable children and their households. Mission: To enhance social well being of street children, orphaned and other vulnerable children in Kampala and other Districts of Uganda. Vision: A place where children have an opportunity to live, access education and live a healthy life away from the streets. The Child Protection Training carried out at LOVE OF THE CHILD ORGANISATION from 8th Oct-10th Oct 2013. Love of the Child with support from Children At Risk Action Network organized and trained 16 community adults from Katanga in child protection for the period of 3days. Training Objectives. The training was aimed at educating the participants about child rights and how they can ensure that issues concerning children are addressed. Creating awareness about child protection was the major goal of this training and at the end of the training, there was need to have a community based child protection committee created and linked to existing legal and social frameworks in the Katanga
  • 2. community to enable them spearhead efforts to protect children from any forms of abuse of their rights, freedom and responsibilities. Participants There was an open call for people to attend the training. Love of the child staff mobilized 5 male and 11 female participants from Kimwanyi zone (Katanga)Wandegeya. The participants embraced the opportunity to learn more about issues affecting their children and how they can get involved. There are many issues that have been recurring in Kimwanyi Zone (Katanga) community but residents didn’t have the knowledge on how these can be handled. Training Methodology The training was facilitated by three staff from the Love of the child. The training was divided up into sequential sessions to enable an easy flow of topics. The training lasted for four days and each day, we had two hours to cover a given session. Since most of the participants were working and some are housewives, we decided to have them for a shorter time when it’s more convenient; from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. This helped us win their commitment to these trainings. The trainers adopted a participatory approach that ensured that all participants were actively involved in delivering the sessions. The language used to deliver the training was mainly Luganda with a little use of English. This was because the majority of the participants understood Luganda better than English The trainers also used visual aids and illustrations related to community experiences to further enable participants understand. Live experiences and case studies were used as examples during the training and this made it easy for the participants relate what they were learning to what is happening in their community. This was done to make sure the training was relevant. There was a time for question and answers at the end of every session where participants enjoyed asking questions and finding solutions as a team. During the training sessions, participants were served with a soda/water and a bite to keep them awake and to also boost their energy levels. Setting the Pace - Understanding The Problem
  • 3. On day one of the training, it was found very important to understand the problem of child abuse in Katanga in a more detailed perspective. As we introduced the training and the reason why it was being carried out it was necessary that we determined its relevance to the community of Katanga and the selected participants. Having a better understanding of the problem also provided guidance in delivering the training modules as they were related to real experiences the participants are familiar with. The participants were encouraged to share more about their community and issues concerning children. The Community – Kimwanyi (Katanga) Kimwanyi Zone (Katanga) is one of the biggest slums in Kampala with an estimated 27000 It is also known for being a favorite place for sex workers, drug dealers, persons involved in selling alcohol among others. Katanga is neighbored by the famous Makerere University and a number of hostels that accommodate university students. It’s also surrounded with a lot of hang out spots including dance clubs, restaurants and bars. There are a number of businesses that are being operated on a small scale. There are no Health centers at all and children and adults have to walk to Wanddegeya main town to access medical care. There are a few primary and Nursery schools where the majority of the children from the community go to. Wandegeya parish has 4 zones include: Kimwanyi, Katale, Busia, and Soweto each is led by a Local Council. Wandegeya police post serves as the law enforcement agent in this community. Common causes of child abuse in Katanga: The participants mentioned that there is an overwhelming rate of child abuse in the community. The most common abuses of the child rights include parents and close relatives, police, some school teachers, community people especially those that involve children in labor, • • • • • • Severe beatings of children by parents Children are involved in child labor. It’s common practice for children to collect and sell scrap, work in local food restaurants, selling maize and vegetables on the road side of Wandegeya town, among others. Denial of food as a form of punishment Sexual abuse like rape especially for the girls Children not attending school Parents fighting in the sight of their children
  • 4. • • • The failure of parents to provide basic needs of clothes, medical care, shoes Children left to sleep outside the house in the wee hours of the night Children brought from the village to study but they end up becoming house maids and baby sitter. Child Protection Issues Identified: It was important to further understand what the prevailing child protection issues are in Katanga. The participants were able to highlight the pressing issues and challenges they have faced in trying to deal with them as explained below;  Drug Abuse; There is a particular area of the community that is known to harbor gangs of youths and adults that abuse drugs. Although this place is known to even the authorities, efforts to deal with the drug abusers have not been successful. The commonly used drugs is cocaine and weed. There are several men and women involved in drug abuse and these have become common abusers of child rights. The local council has handled several cases of attempted murder, theft, child neglect, physical abuse, severe beating of children, and denial of food among others.  Weak Legal System; it was highlighted that the existing legal framework that is supposed to enforce law and order is weak. The people handling cases of children are also ignorant about child rights and consequently also become abusers. When children are found in conflict with the law, they are put into the same police cells with the adults. It’s also common to find persons that had been reported to the police for child abuse released without explanation. The participants feel like there is not enough trust in the police and local council to provide protection.  Lack of community based support; some of the participants highlighted that the efforts to address child abuse related cases have mainly been a one-man effort and this has come with a lot of negativity. That such persons have tried to get involved in confronting parents abusing children are verbally abused and threatened by such parents. There is one lady that has been threatened to be kicked out of the community for meddling in affairs of other families on grounds of child protection. This lady (Musawo) is always involved in arguments with parents that don’t send their children to school.  Traditional beliefs; it is traditionally known that an adult is always right and that their actions can never be questioned. Traditionally, children are groomed to respect their parents and to completely submit to their authority. If a child fails to do this, then they are subject to punishment for indiscipline. This is the same mentality that the police and local council have. The children are not usually given an opportunity to explain their side of the story and it’s always the adult that is believed. This is one of the reasons children run away from home because they know that even if they report, no one will believe them.
  • 5.  Polygamous families;. During the training, it was identified that polygamous families are prominent in kantaanga.Many of them have children from different parents and at the end, these children suffer lack of parental love, aprolem that leads them to streets and other crimes.  Separation of parents; It is identified that the biggest population of parents in cottage are single parents who have either separated or deceased. This puts a bigger burden on them to take care of the children in the right manner that’s very difficult.  Irresponsible guardians; In katanga,there is a lot of child abuse by irresponsible guardians who pretend to be care givers but in the end they mistreat, insult and abuse children. After this session, it was clear that the problems facing children in Katanga are several but there is insufficient efforts being taken to address them. No wonder, there is an alarming number of children that have dropped out of school coming from Katanga and these have consequently become street children. Training Modules The training modules that were covered during the training are; • Community envisioning and awareness- In this we and the participants analysed the environment of Katanga by identifying the different community perspectives about child protection. • The Child - In this module, we took time to understand the constitutional definition of a child and even from other perspectives like a bible, parental understanding and their needs. • Child rights and responsibilities – so much focus was given to talking about the rights of the child and the responsibilities. According to the responses and questions that the participants asked during this session, it was very evident that they didn’t have a clear understanding of child rights. It was challenging for some participants to differentiate between rights and responsibilities. The debate about child rights attracted so much interest as participants exchanged views on the subject matter. However, we realized that this session was very important for the participants to understand because if they are to spearhead efforts of child protection in their community, their attitudes
  • 6. needed to be positive and they require a clear understanding of child rights so that they can train/guide others. • Child Abuse – In this module, we covered the definition of child abuse, the different forms, the possible causes, effects and how to identify an abused child. During an interactive session, we took time to understand what the participants perceived as child abuse and although they all had different views, they commonly agreed that it was related to violation of child rights. During this session, the participants where encouraged to share how they can identify that a child is being abused. Some of the responses included; finding a child working during school hours is a sign that a child is denied the right to education, physical injuries on the child’s body will show beatings and torture, stunted growth will show that a child is not feeding well or feeding at all, a child sleeping out late at night will show neglect, torture. • Child Trafficking – This topic was covered in relation to child abuse. Child trafficking is on the increase lately and many parents and children have fallen victims without noticing. The trainers explained what it is and how it happens. The participants highlighted that there are many children that have been taken from parents by organizations and individuals with the promise of support in education but such children end up in misery. Some of the children are taken as house maids, others are used for child prostitution and some are taken to other parts of the country and even outside Uganda. In the slums, it’s common to find desperate parents especially women who need support for their children and these are a key target for child traffickers. • Children with special needs - the training also covered a specific topic about children with special needs as these come with unique needs most of the time. This module covered the definition of a child with special needs, categories of such children, and how they can be helped to access services like any other children in the community. • Child Protection- This was another module that was extensively delivered. It was focused on equipping the participants with knowledge and practical ways of how we can ensure children are protected in the community. It also highlighted the role of different stakeholders in protecting children including the children themselves, family members, friends, local community, police, juvenile legal services, organizations, teachers, health workers, and other community leaders.
  • 7. • Parenting- Under this same module, we discussed how to prevent child abuse through effective parenting. Focus was given to the different parenting styles and how each type affects the children. The four basic parenting styles were: 1. Authoritarian parenting. 2. Authoritative parenting. 3. Permissive parenting. 4. Uninvolved parenting. The Child Protection Committee After the training, the participants had the task to elect a team of people that will bear the flag as the child protection committee in Katanga. The different positions of the committee were written down and participants nominated those that they would occupy such positions of responsibility. The selection of who joins the committee was done by raising hands as a sign to show support of a person whose name was nominated. The winner was the one that had more hands raised in their favor. At the end of this very interesting exercise, a committee was elected by a membership of 11 people. The committee is comprised of; 1. Chairman – Mr. Isabirye Fred 2. Vice Chairman – Mrs. Moreen Kafeero Nakimera 3. Secretary – Mr. Senabulya Philemon Publicity 4. Mr. Semakula Eric 5. Miss. Betty Namwebe 6. Defense –Mr. Muhammed Akuguzibwe 7. Treasurer – Miss. Jane Siango 8. Senior Advisor – Mrs.Lydia Lujumba Members 9. Mr. Odongo Zam 10. Miss. Tuhaise Rose 11. Mr. Milton Ogalli Key Roles The child protection committee will be responsible for; - Advocating for vulnerable children in Kimwanyi Zone (Katanga) - Offering guidance and advice on matters concerning child protection at local council level and police - Counseling children and adults involved in any form of child abuse
  • 8. - Referring children that are in need to services for protection and support to existing social and legal frameworks Helping juveniles to realize their dreams through understanding their rights and responsibilities Moving Forward • The committee is going to be linked to the local council, local police and other existing partners in Katanga to ensure a safe and child friendly community for children to thrive in Katanga. The committee wishes to have an official ceremony to be held within the community where they will be introduced and their role well explained. This will make it easy for them to be accepted and recognized. • The committee still needs capacity building and support from Love of the Child for it to better manage the big responsibility ahead of them. The members on the committee are enthusiastic and committed to learning. • The elected committee has been able to meet twice and continues to meet so as work on developing a quarterly work plan for activities that they will undertake starting 2014. This is being done with the guidance of organizational staff. The activities are linked to addressing the issues that were identified in the community as challenges to child protection. This work plan will be monitored to ensure there is progress. CHALLENGES FACED DURING THE TRAINING. • • • • Poor time management. Some of the participants usually came late and affected the starting time. Inadequate facilitation especially financial resources to provide snacks, materials, and facilitation for trainers to do a good job. Language barrier. Most of the people that attended did not understand English yet the training modules and materials were in English. The trainers had to adjust and translate almost every thing in Luganda. Small turn up for Men. There were more women that attended the training than men Conclusion We are glad that the major objective of the training was achieved and that there is a vibrant and willing child protection committee in Kimwanyi zone (Katanga) There is much that is expected from this committee. It was made clear that the work will be completely voluntary and therefore the members shouldn’t expect any remuneration from Love of the Child.
  • 9. However, the biggest challenge remains that some of the activities that need to be done require funding. Most of the members are subsistence earners that survive on daily income to sustain their families. Committee activities and continued capacity building will still require funding. This is how this committee will be able to actively function and create impact. Unfortunately, Love of the Child doesn’t have any form of funding for such activities. As we work to lay down fundraising strategies, we shall be happy to discuss any possibilities of having the child protection committee activities and capacity building trainings linked into the CRANE advocacy campaigns for potential funding and support.
  • 10. However, the biggest challenge remains that some of the activities that need to be done require funding. Most of the members are subsistence earners that survive on daily income to sustain their families. Committee activities and continued capacity building will still require funding. This is how this committee will be able to actively function and create impact. Unfortunately, Love of the Child doesn’t have any form of funding for such activities. As we work to lay down fundraising strategies, we shall be happy to discuss any possibilities of having the child protection committee activities and capacity building trainings linked into the CRANE advocacy campaigns for potential funding and support.