DIALOGUES IN CHILD PROTECTION WEEK 2015

The month of May was Child Protection month in South Africa, with a Child Protection Week from the 27th May – 2nd June 2015. The theme was “Working Together to protect children”. The TREE Early Childhood Development Enabling Environment department (Centocow, Kwazulu Natal) has embarked on an ongoing outreach campaign that encourages and supports collaborations between males and females in caring for children and the fight against child abuse. Young and old were called upon and TREE Family Facilitators from the Centocow Community paired up with community members to initiate two programmes.

Life skills group sessions

Children doing a Life Skills group activity

Children doing a group activity before their Life Skills discussion

Groups of teenagers from around Centocow were engaged in dialogues about teenage pregnancy and substance abuse among the youth. The high incidents of school drop outs was an additional issue that surfaced as a concern in relation to parents not supporting the education of their children. As one of the vital children’s rights, education was explored from a community development perspective. Each child shared their dreams and ambitions and was made to see how each dream can only be achieved with education as the foundation.

Caregiver dialogues

A dialogue was held with a group of Primary Care Givers with the aim of addressing gendered vulnerabilities, particularly the division of labour with regards to child rearing. Issues discussed included the impact of domestic violence and substance abuse within the home; girls not being supported to remain in school; mothers solely carrying child/family rearing responsibilities and the absence of male role models for children. Many cultural and traditional beliefs were raised and discussed in relation to a man’s role as the head of the household. In conclusion the men were requested to partner with women in preserving households and families.

new mothers at the primary caregivers dialogue

A group of new mothers attending the primary caregivers dialogue on child rearing

Encouraged by feedback TREE says: “We are very encouraged by the feedback from both groups, with one of the teenage girls thanking us for the dialogue: “Today I learned that my education is very important for my future!” A newly married mom told us: “I will encourage my husband to be more involved in bringing up my children.” TREE’s Plan of Action for these different groups is to provide support for the Family Facilitators and the Centocow community to ensure the growth of these campaigns. We are very proud of the process taking place and believe these kinds of initiatives go a long way in improving vulnerable communities.”

Report from SHARE – Where South Africa’s Mamas Meet – MAMAS Alliance Newsletter #3 – June 2015

The TREE Facilitators have received training in using Persona Dolls. Help us to provide this training for the Teachers in Centocow.

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