To promote the well-being of every child in the Oldeani community, we need to help keep them safe. Just like in our approach to solving poverty, our approach to child protection is a holistic one.
Our Child Protection Officer, Betty Mwaikuka, works tirelessly to counsel and educate community members on how they can find solutions to and tackle problems that put children at risk.
At the community level, Betty leads the Malengo Mamas and Babas, a group that has come together to hold the Oldeani community accountable in caring for children. Through this initiative we are able to equip parents and village leaders with the knowledge and training they need to identify areas of risk, advocate for children, and resolve conflict.
While we recognize that groups like the Malengo Mamas and Babas have the potential to change the way our community looks at the rights of the child in the years to come, we also need to intervene and support students who are at-risk now. “I try to always be present at RVCV and at Gyetighi Primary School so kids can easily approach me when they need to talk,” said Betty.
Whether it is watching for signs of abuse, counseling a student through post-traumatic stress, or following up with parents on cases of malnutrition, we ensure that students get the support they need so that no child in our community feels forgotten or left behind.
It is because of these interventions at both the individual and community level that children and their rights are being protected more now than ever before. Most importantly, children in our area know that someone is looking after them, that someone is rooting for them, and that more change is coming.