Yiriwa Federation, an affiliate of ChildFund The Gambia, recently organised a
daylong training of its staff on child protection and development issues.
Modules of the training included child trafficking, labour and abuse and it was attended by watchmen, drivers, board members and other staff of the federation.
Alieu Mendy, manager of Ding-Ding Yiriwa, said the training was organised on the premises that staff of the federation need to know what child protection is all about and what should be done to enhance child development.
“There are lots of child abuses that are taking place around the world and most of these are perpetrated by stakeholders, for that reason we feel that all our staff need to have some basic knowledge about child protection,” he said.
He added that all the staff and board members need to have some basic knowledge about child protection issues so they could interact effectively with children.
Aside from the staff training, Mendy said his federation also does some community sensitisation for people to stay away from child abuse.
“If the communities are fully aware, trained and sensitised and they know the implications associated with child labour and its effects on their child, I think even it did not stop, it will be reduced,” he said.
Alieu Marreh, representative of ChildFund The Gambia, said child protection systems work best when symmetry exists between the system’s goals, its structures, functions, and capacities and the normative context in which it operates.
“As the child moves through various developmental stages and engages across the different environments and subsystems (i.e., institutions, services) within her or his local context, relevant actors will act in ways that will advance or hinder the protection and wellbeing of the child,” he said.
He added that ChildFund will engage with, build upon, and reinforce positive elements within these various environments, subsystems and processes specific to the given local context.
“We will contribute to address any gaps, while also mitigating negative factors and promoting coherence and synergy across the different parts of the system to ensure effective and sustainable protection of children from all forms of violence,” he said.
Marreh expressed ChildFund’s commitment to a whole-of-system response to child protection acknowledges that child wellbeing and protection are integrally connected to family and social conditions, personal developmental factors and age of the child.
He added: “We will enhance knowledge of and linkages with different parts of the child protection systems that exist in the contexts where it works.”
According to him, the daily living conditions of people, particularly children in communities, have a significant impact on their psychosocial wellbeing.
“Insecurity, poverty, unemployment, poor housing, and insufficient food, water and medical care, all have profound effects on the wellbeing of children and their communities,” he noted.