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WWSF Prize for Prevention of Child Abuse 2008

 

Laureates 2009
Laureates 2008
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WWSF awards five organizations for innovative prevention activities
On the occasion of World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse – 19 November

First Prize 2008 (US$ 3000)

The Office of the Ombudsperson for Children, Croatia

 

According to the Law on the Ombudsman for Children (published in Narodne novine 96/2003), the Republic of Croatia has formed a special supervisory body as an institution sui generis, the Ombudsman for Children, which protects, monitors and promotes the rights and interests of children on the basis of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, international treaties and laws. The Ombudsman for Children acts independently and autonomously, adhering to the principles of justice and morality, and no one is allowed to instruct or give orders to the Ombudsman for Children in his/her work. The Ombudsman for Children and his/her Deputies must not be a member of any political party or take part in political activities. They are appointed and acquitted of their duty by the Croatian National Parliament upon the proposal of the Government of the Republic of Croatia. They are high-ranking officials of the Republic of Croatia, appointed for the period of eight years and they can be reappointed. At the 19th session of the Croatian Parliament held on March 31, 2006, Mila Jelavic´, LL.B. has been appointed Ombudsman for Children.

On the occasion of the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse – 19 November, the Office of the Ombudsperson for Children organized the following activities:
Created awareness and spread information about the World Day:




- Information distributed to the general public on several occasions. 1 Published an article about the Day and prevention of child abuse on its website starting October 2 Emphasized the importance of marking the Day when talking to the press and at public meetings 3 Mentioned the Day in an article published in Sportske novosti (Sports Newspaper) when discussing abuse in sports clubs 4 Referred to the Day during the promotion of the publication “Domestic violence” (organized by the NGO CESI), as well as during presentations addressing the Delegation from Russia, etc.
- Publication in a weekly newspaper for educators and teachers. A colored announcement entitled “World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse” including the following message “No violence against children is justifiable. All violence against children is preventable” was published in a poster format to also be used in schools and kindergartens. Objective: stressing the importance of prevention of child abuse to all those who are in contact with children in urban and rural areas.
Published a leaflet on child abuse and how to prevent it: intended for adults who take care of children, it included information about the Day, a stamp issued for the 18th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, statistics on child abuse in Croatia and worldwide, messages such as “Say No to all forms of violence against children”, suggestions for prevention activities, as well as messages inviting children to ask for help when abused. The leaflet was distributed to all libraries in Zagreb, to representatives of about 60 cities and municipalities that attended the annual conference of “Child-Friendly Cities and Municipalities”, to polyclinics for the protection of children in Zagreb, as well as at all meetings and conferences where the Office of the Ombudsperson for Children participated.
Participated in the media: Presenting the leaflet and discussing prevention of child abuse on the ”Good morning Croatia” TV show. The Office of the Ombudsperson for Children also gave interviews in Newspapers, as well as on the radio.
Convened an expert debate entitled “Database of perpetrators of sexual crimes against children”: Experts presented their experience on the subject and stressed the importance of prevention measures. The CAP program (Child Assault Prevention), conducted in several schools and kindergartens by NGOs, was shared. The media covered the event. Two additional expert debates followed on 21 and 23 November where child abuse was discussed and leaflets distributed.

Highlight:
The Governement of the Republic of Croatia accepted the Office of the Ombudsperson for Children’s recommandation to include 19 November - World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse in the “National Strategy for the protection of victims of domestic violence 2008-2010”.

Second Prize 2008 (US$ 1000)

Corporación Gestión Ecuador - GE, Ecuador

Corporación Gestión Ecuador, a non-profit, private organization made up of young and adult professionals in the field of social management, administration, family therapy, economy and local development, was created five years ago. Its main mission is to facilitate social development for disadvantaged people through promoting and implementing children’s, adolescents’ and disabled people’s rights; training facilitators in prevention of child sexual abuse and generating solidarity campaigns for the handicapped.

 

 

World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse – 19 November, Corporación Gestión Ecuador organized the “Mi cuerpo es lindo, es mío y de nadie más” campaign (My body is beautiful, it’s mine and nobody else’s) to help promote a culture of protection and prevention through awareness raising of child sexual abuse issues amongst school communities of the Metropolitan District of Quito. Corporación Gestión Ecuador used the WWSF yellow ribbon as a symbol of the campaign and organized the following activities:
Created a collaborative group among actors who work on child and adolescent rights to increase the field of action of the Metropolitan Council of Childhood and Adolescence Comprehensive Protection COMPINA, Municipal schools of Quito, the Faculty of social management of PUCE, the Federation of Students of the Catholic University of Ecuador FEUCE, and the Corporation of Latin Kings and Queens of Ecuador ALKQN.
Trained 60 volunteers from ALKQN and PUCE on: 1 The rights of the child and adolescents and protection organizations 2 Awareness raising of child sexual abuse, consequences, myths and reality in Ecuador 3 Basic theatre techniques.
Mobilized volunteers in 6 schools of Quito.
Presented in each community school a play by volunteers and distributed posters on how children and adolescents can protect themselves.
Disseminated information among school communities through posters and leaflets.
Organized a massive cultural event in the Pontifical Catholic University with dissemination of information and placed the WWSF yellow ribbons “Yes to prevention of child abuse!” on every person who attended. Presented songs by children, plays on child sexual abuse in the family and shared information on how to protect oneself.

Three additional awards 2008 (US$ 500 each)

Fairland Foundation – FAFO, Uganda
Fairland Foundation, a local NGO, has as its mission to improve the well-being of vulnerable people, especially, orphans, street children, women, the elderly and the disabled through basic health, education, economic empowerment, human rights, water and sanitation, as well as relief.

 

To mark the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse – 19 November, the Fairland Foundation organized an event at the Fairland High School in Mukono, Uganda. Most of the activities were conducted by the children themselves. Four additional schools sent their students to participate. All in all, 1500 people attended.
The program began with opening remarks and was followed by the National Anthem and a prayer. The Fairland High School Choir sung for the audience and other students performed a play on child abuse prevention. The involvement of students was very important in this event.
Student representatives from participating schools and a number of singing groups from the community added to the celebration with uplifting music and traditional dance. Students spoke to their peers about child abuse, definitions, examples, causes, dangers, how communities are affected, and ways by which child abuse could be stopped. One of them concluded by thanking the government, the press, including the Bukedde Newspaper, WBS television and the Fairland Foundation, for educating the people on child abuse. Another student suggested many forms of prevention and ended by calling upon all Ugandans to respect the rights of the child because they are the future leaders who should be given a chance in this world.
The Fairland High School Principal, the Fairland Foundation Executive Director and a media activist addressed the audience as well. The event ended with the National Anthem and a prayer.

 

Stairway Foundation Inc. – SFI, Philippines

The Stairway Foundation, a non-profit, non-governmental care organization, established in 1990, as an alternative program for the most marginalized and endangered street children in the Philippines, has as its mission to gain inspiration, knowledge, conviction and humility from working with the most outcast and endangered children in society, and to manifest these gains in creative expression, which will alter general perceptions of the most marginalized groups of children around the world and trigger mobilization of resources for change.

 

 

 

To mark the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse – 19 November, the Stairway Foundation Inc. held a one-day workshop on the Convention on the Rights of the Child to educate the community about sexual abuse and how to prevent it. A part of the workshop was a training session for parents, which generated a great discussion. An observation was made that a majority were uncomfortable talking about sexual abuse. To facilitate discussion and understanding, SFI used two animations, ¨Daughter¨ and ¨A Good Boy¨, confronting incest and pedophilia. Near the end of the training, a mother of an abused child shared the negative effects of sexual abuse and how she supported her victim child. The words of this mother gave a strong message on the seriousness of the issue of sexual abuse. Participants realized that child sexual abuse could happen anywhere and recognized that residing in a tourist area posed additional risk to their children. Seventeen parents participated in the discussion.
On the same day, children were invited to participate in a separate workshop where they felt safe talking about different kinds of abuse and their personal experiences. Pictures were used to help the children identify the different kinds of abuse. It became evident that many participants were familiar with physical and sexual abuse, which prompted SFI to provide psychological support. Drama was used as an expression for children to act out different roles, using role-play on how to prevent certain abuses from occurring.
Another event in which SFI participated on 19 November was a conference entitled “The invisible child¨, put on by The Asia Cutting Edge, a worldwide network of Christian organizations working for the protection of children’s rights in Thailand. The play “Cracked Mirrors” was performed by 3 members of the Stairway Foundation homegrown theatre group TASK (Talented Ambitious Street Kids) who themselves lived and worked on the streets. The authenticity they managed to emote throughout their monologues stems from their personal relation to the issue of abuse that they confront. UNICEF commented on the play as ¨a breakthrough in efforts to educate the public about the largely hidden problem of child sexual abuse…using the powerful medium of theater¨. After the question and answer time, a 65-year-old Indian man came forward and confessed: ¨I am 65 years old and I was sexually abused as a child. This is the first time that I open up about my sexual abuse. Seeing you young people on the stage tonight has given me the courage to stand up and speak out. I am angry—very, very angry - that this could happen to a child!¨

 

Community Human Rights and Advocacy Centre – CHRAC, Cameroon

The Community Human Rights and Advocacy Centre, a non-governmental, non-partisan and philanthropic organization, created in 2002, has as its mission to build a society where human rights, a democratic culture and good governance are respected via promoting, protecting and building a human rights culture in Cameroon; educating the community on child abuse, trafficking and exploitation; contributing in the democratic evolution and good governance through mediation in conflict resolution; and empowering rural women, the girl child, the handicapped and the underprivileged through education programs.

 

 

To mark the World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse – 19 November, CHRAC held a two week symposium on the topic “Media Violence on Children”. Students discussed and shared their own experiences related to their abuse. Sensitization took place in various schools and public places. A parliamentarian talked with the group and a debate followed. There were many ideas and suggestions that gave the team an opportunity to discuss media-violence, violent action, pornographic films, etc., which have a negative influence on children’s growth and development. Due to great interest to understand the laws of Cameroon and law makers, CHRAC talked to the Cameroon parliament about what it was doing to protect children from media violence. CHRAC partnered with faith based organizations on 19 November to get the message across. A priest addressed the issue by using the gospel in delivering the message to prevent media violence against children to 700 students and 800 parents. The symposium was organized for the empowerment of youth under the patronage of the Provincial Service of Youth Affairs, the Community Education and Development Services, the Welfare Association, as well as the Ministry of Youth Affairs in commemoration of the World Day.

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