SPECIAL FEATURE: STORY OF COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN CHILD PROTECTION
Partnership and collaboration are the core values of the action. When Sanjog initiated a community responsive protection program for vulnerable children, we were determined to engage community to partake in this journey, and to eventually take ownership and responsibility for the children in their own area.
Firstly, each community engaged in the program through a community care group comprising of people from the community who are interested and concerned about welfare of children, and over a period of time, to build a relationship of trust, transparency and mutual accountability between the members of this committee and the organization.
Second strategy that we used is to involve mothers rigorously in the program and promote the leadership & economic security to play vital role for protection of children in their own community. The role of the mothers are not only to offer direct services to the children, but to mobilize their families to condense there dependency on the children from family income and enhance access to support systems to ensure optimally use of life-skills-based education. For example, in Dhaka mothers has started a micro business “PRANTIK” that led to economically empowers the mothers group and influence their family decisions for the betterment of the children.
Third strategy of the program is form youth volunteers forum from the community and develop volunteers capacity on school management, leadership, child Rights, Protection from sexual abuse and exploitation, trafficking, keeping safe on the streets, and negative effects of substance abuse. Such skills are delivers to the children to enhance the knowledge and capacity of the children and equip them to deal with violent and abusive situations, which service providers to go to in times of greatest need.
Child participation and capacity building are at the core of the program. The Captain team, Child mentors are themselves effective tools of child participation. Therefore those children active in these groups gain valuable experience that helps them in real life situations.