Mar 24, 2012 News
…As EU funded project comes to an end
“Child Protection is everybody’s business and is certainly not intended for just children who are
abused but for all children across the board,” said Colin Marks, as he revealed the findings of a Help and Shelter’s Child Protection Project. The event was a round-table session held in the auditorium of the National Library yesterday. The project, which is set to conclude this month end was launched on January 30th, 2011, with funding primarily from the European Union (EU) and support from the Concerned Citizens Against Domestic Abuse (CCADA) group. The latter is an organization based in Atlanta, United States.
Marks, as the Project Coordinator, revealed that the project represents yet another watershed initiative implemented by Help and Shelter even as he pointed out that it fell under a special initiative-component of the EU that specifically emphasizes rights. As such the project is regarded as one that was specifically crafted from a rights-based perspective, Marks noted, even as he opined that “incidentally when people hear about child rights they sometimes get super-sensitive because they start thinking about the political ramifications…”
However, he sought to assert that the rights of the child simply refer to the needs of the child. For this reason, he underscored that adults, parents and the community at large, are those who are expected to harness those rights to make sure that the children are able to benefit and grow up in a safe environment.
It was for this reason that the specific objective of the project was designed to promote the importance of children’s safety through community-based actions. The ambitious programme was centered in the Region Three areas of Zeelugt and Hague as well as Sophia and Good Hope, both in Region Four, and was intended to raise awareness within the communities with a view of giving parents and adults new skills aimed at encouraging non-violent and alternative methods of parenting.
“We have been addressing those with teachers, community based organizations, community policing groups, PTAs and shop owners because in all of these communities we have recognized, after extensive work, this acceptance of violence, in whatever form it takes, somehow contributes to the status of the safety of our children…because it is when that sacred right is violated then a child becomes vulnerable when a family, most times, becomes dysfunctional.”
According to Marks, based on the in-depth look into the target communities, which are in fact like many other communities across the country, it was found that persons through their socializations are complicit and accept some levels of violence. As such, he noted that in dealing with the child protection project efforts were made, on many occasions, to fully address the whole issue of violence.
Accordingly, the project sought to introduce standard protocols for those who offer care and services to children such as teachers, nurses and day care personnel, particularly in cases of abuse and suspected cases of abuse. It also incorporated measures to empower children and families alike to respond to the challenges in environments that make them vulnerable to abuse even as efforts were made to enlighten the target group of the avenues that are available to offer counseling support, court support and provide sensitization on other sensitive children’s issues. “Why do we need the confluence of these actions in these communities? We only need to look at our
newspapers…if we use our short-term memory and look back just three months or even 15 months we would see what is happening with our children and not only in these poor communities.”
However, Marks noted that the protection of children in Guyana has come a far way, so much so, that some hospitals seek to ascertain the cause of a child’s injury once they are brought to the hospital for medical attention. This, he noted, was not obtained in years gone by. “One week ago…I heard some parents complaining that before their child gets discharged they have to see the social worker. I think that is a significant move and it also underlies the fact that in lots of cases our children are just not safe. When a child turns up for care in the health care system it needs to be checked…”
Following dynamic sessions with community members over the project-period, the outcome of the project saw the creation of a strong network of organizations, persons and groups to respond appropriately within the target community to child abuse or any situation that puts children at risk. Remedial measures included the integration of school-aged children back into the school system but were not limited to parents vowing to refrain from beating as a form of punishment. “We still have got work to do…we have done 15 months of work…you are more or less at the pressure point but don’t be afraid; there is support; Help and Shelter champions the work for and with vulnerable groups, especially those affected by violence,” Marks told the gathering at the round-table discussion even as he stressed that “our children are really a prized possession.
Yesterday’s forum also saw representatives from the various target communities amplifying their intent to continue to embrace the initiative to keep their children safe by striving to ensure that they are protected from all forms of violence.
Apr 12, 2021By Franklin Wilson With mixed results had in the first window of the Concacaf leg of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying last month, Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Senior Men’s National Team...
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – Officials of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]