MOBILISING COMMUNITIES TO SAFEGUARD CHILDREN AND UPHOLD THEIR RIGHTS
Together with our local project partners, we work with communities to protect their children and keep them safe. We inform children, parents and teachers about child rights, so they can take steps to guard against neglect and abuse. We build child protection structures and systems in schools and the wider community, increasing awareness of child rights and bringing those who infringe them to justice.
We know that children who have personally experienced abuse can be a huge driving force for change in the community, so we empower young people to educate others about rights and become advocates themselves.
HOW DO WE DO THIS?
- We work with schools to establish Child Rights Clubs to increase awareness of child rights and child protection. The Clubs are made up of about 30 orphans and vulnerable children who are taught about their rights and responsibilities, such as their right to go to school and their responsibility to do their homework.
- The Club members share their knowledge with their peers, both at school and throughout the wider community, through drama, poetry and singing, with the help of materials that we provide.
- We train two teachers at each school to become Child Rights Patrons who manage, train, monitor and support the Child Rights Club.
- We set up Child Help Desks in each school – safe, child-friendly spaces where children can report cases to the Patron, who will then follow up with the child’s household, community leader, police or other authorities.
- We establish Child Rights Committees made up of community leaders, local police, parents, teachers and guardians. They ensure child rights are upheld and that those who infringe them are brought to justice.
- We create opportunities for the voices of children to be heard at influential forums, empowering the children themselves to draw attention to these issues.
- All of our child rights activities incorporate elements to make them sustainable. For example, we provide the Child Rights Clubs with start-up capital, and the skills required to start small businesses, so they can make a profit to support Club members and other vulnerable children in the community.