One of the ways we can build a better future for our children is by empowering them by allowing them to speak up for themselves. Of course, we as adults have to guide them and to take the ultimate responsibility but that is something quite different from patronising them.
Over 60 representatives from government and civil society recently united in Kisumu to find concrete ways to end violence against East Africa’s Children. At a three-day event hosted by IIDC, ICS-SP Africa and KAACR, delegates were drawn from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Canada, US, and Uk agreed that discuss ways to intensifying learning to maximize impact in their efforts to prevent and reduce violence against children in East Africa. While governments have taken strides at the national level to end violence against children, many young girls and boys in the region continue to be affected emotionally, physically and sexually. Participants shared evidence-based results of their work in their countries and agreed that there was a need to work in a more collaborative approach. Through exciting presentations and interesting fieldwork – to understand that learning is indeed taking place and is a critical part of evidence-based programming.
Overall, the 2018 Convening was geared towards introspection around the concept of learning. The event was designed to encourage participants to
1. Deepen their understanding of and capacity to promote the culture of learning within their organizations.
2. Share and reflect on the concrete programming improvements that have emerged from learning.
3. Start using Communities of Practices (CoPs) crafted around INSPIRE strategies to engage in deeper reflection on how to prevent and respond to VAC.
4. Generate ideas for further advancing the learning agenda.
In the words of one participant; “through this event, together, we have been able to embrace a collaborative way of working to end violence against children in East Africa. We believe that our diverse and dynamic group of presenters and speakers provided in-depth insight, as well as, actionable and practical tools of engagement. We owe it to our children to change the narrative of their future without violence”.
Some facts from the World Health Organisation state that:
• Globally, it is estimated that up to 1 billion children aged 2–17 years have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence or neglect in the past year (1).
• Experiencing violence in childhood impacts lifelong health and well-being.
• Target 16.2 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to “end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against, and torture of, children”.
• Evidence from around the world shows that violence against children can be prevented.
Credit for WHO statistics http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/violence-against-children/en/