Teachers at the Mahaut Primary School participating in the project

Teachers at the Mahaut Primary School participating in the project

Numerous consultations with children in Dominica have emphasized that the right to children’s security and protection needs enforcement in their homes and in their schools. Due to ongoing advocacy, children themselves, youth, adults, civil society and the public sector are voicing the urgent need to make this a priority.

Consequently, as part of East Dominica Children’s Federation support towards creating safe and protective school environment through the Child Friendly Schools initiative, a Child Assault Prevention Project has been launched in 6 primary schools around Dominica. This project is undertaken in partnership with the International Center for Assault Prevention (ICAP) headquartered in New Jersey (http://www.internationalcap.org), The West Dominica Children’s Federation and the Government of Canada Fund for Local Initiatives through grant funding of EC$48,573.00

This project follows a successful pilot funded by CFLI, UNICEF and ChildFund in 2015 in which 40 child and social workers were trained to facilitate the project for over 900 participants in two urban Primary Schools in Dominica (Goodwill Primary and Roseau Primary).

The expansion of this initiative seeks to replicate the favorable outcomes from the pilot phase and provides the opportunity to empower teachers, parents and most importantly, children to avoid, prevent and resolve conflict/assault by peers and adults and thereby create a more inclusive and supportive school, home and societal climate. It directly teaches children to recognize and deal with potentially dangerous situations, and train teachers and parents to help. Participating schools are Salybia, Sineku, San Sauveur, Mahaut, Penville and St. Lukes Primary.

The completion of school staff and parents workshops over the past weeks have set the stage for the commencement of the classroom workshops which will commence on February 22nd and run through the second week of March.

Some of the funds will also cater to additional workshops on Rights-Based Approach and Ethical Behaviour Policy and Procedures in working with children and youth as well as a forum for NGOs to review the Child Abuse Reporting Protocol and make recommendations to the appropriate authorities within the next few weeks.

Parents completing an evaluation on the project at the Sineku Primary School

Parents completing an evaluation on the project at the Sineku Primary School