I would like to introduce Lauren, our Children’s Project Worker and Touch Talk facilitator, who has written the following blog.
“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” – Charles R. Swindoll
How are children around us being treated?
This is something we as Tehila are interested in and as a result, through the SCAR network, we collaborated with Viva network and carried out the ‘Good Treatment Campaign’ in Ng’ombe. The good treatment campaign is a program that allows children to engage with local adults in the community to address some key issues children face. The program is based around a promise to commit to good treatment of children.
The campaign is run to empower children to advocate for good treatment and help them understand how they should be treated. Additionally, the campaign is run to educate adults on five ways to treat children well, namely; 1) Tell them you love them. 2.) Listen to what they have to say and spend time with them. 3.) Accept them as they are and recognise their quality. 4.) Support their learning and train them to accept good values. 5.) Teach them responsibility and help them resolve conflict.
The planning process took time and commitment by everyone involved. The planning committee consisted of both adults and children. The adults from the local community took ownership and decided what needed to be done for the campaign to be effective in their community. The children represented churches and community schools Tehila has worked with and their involvement was fun, inclusive and voluntary. This was especially important because children are usually excluded in decision making in Zambia.
The campaign started bright and early on August 11th at old Ng’ombe grounds. The children in pairs, accompanied by an adult went into the community and gathered the views of 147 adults through questionnaires. 122 adults answered closed ended questionnaires and 25 adults answered open-ended question. The results show that the majority of the adults interviewed were actually aware of the issues children face. 86% of the same adults agree that the community and authorities need to work together to make the community safe for all children. Additionally, 72% of the interviewees agreed that children do have a right to an opinion and to be treated with dignity. These results are a good sign that Ng’ombe is headed in the right direction of being a safe community for children. When some adults were asked what needs to be done for children to enjoy being children in Ng’ombe, Peter Banda said “We need to love them and care for them” and Misheck Sakala said, “We need to care for them in every aspect, and provide recreation facilities”.
All in all the campaign was a success. We have learnt from our mistakes and will perfect on our success. We hope to run many more Good Treatment campaigns in the near future.