Our New eBook: Protecting Our Children

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Protecting Our Children, our new eBook, is now available on our website.  We are very excited about this latest publication which documents what we’ve learned through our collaboration with eight Firelight partners in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania, Lesotho, Malawi, and Zambia. The eBook is a study of these eight organizations that we have teamed up with as part of an initiative that began in 2009.

We wanted to know how African communities strengthen child protection systems, focusing on the development and implementation of interventions, policies, and systems to protect children from abuse. Protecting Our Children is a comprehensive review of the progress made, and lessons learned along the way over the course of three years. We are happy to report a 47% improvement rate overall as a result of the initiative.

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Protecting Our Children explores the role of community organizations in building child protection systems, and our efforts to better understand the needs of communities. Through this three year period, we learned a lot about the role of community development in protecting children. In fact, it was important to consider all levels of influence, from families, to communities, to entire governments. Family units, and the strong relational bonds within them, were reenforced as natural support networks.  More formal channels of support were also the focus of this initiative.

Many organizations, back in 2009, were challenged by the lack of government engagement in their community. They felt that government stakeholders could improve the effectiveness of their programs, but were largely invisible in the process of protecting children. By the end of the project, each organization was able to outline their partnerships with local government stakeholders.

Protecting Our Children highlights the important role that community organizations play in protecting children from violence, and details our journey through the process that led to these uplifting results.

A Sneak Peek Inside

Protecting Our Children: How African Community Organizations Strengthen Child Protective Systems is our new eBook. Here’s what you’ll find inside:

Part 1 – An explanation of the types of child abuse issues that community-based organizations are tackling.

Part 2 – A status report on current systems available to deal with child abuse issues.

Part 3 –  An analysis of current systems and the need for strategies of change.

Part 4 – Feedback on ways to improve child protective systems.

Part 5 – A retrospective look at what we learned along the way, as we implemented and targeted goals throughout this initiative.

The eBook includes two case studies: Chiedza Community Welfare Trust and Kwa Wazee. The case studies demonstrate the output of this initiative in great detail. It also includes two tools: the Child Protection Mapping Tool and Program Model Tool. These tools are intended for community-based organizations working to improve the systems that they have established to protect children.

We are excited to share our insights and lessons learned along the way, with the hopes that more secure systems will be established globally to protect children and strengthen communities. Download the eBook now and share with colleagues and friends to inform them how African communities are protecting children.

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