Aim 3

Strengthening schools’ capacity

We help schools and communities develop and implement child protection policies and systems which report and handle incidents of abuse, exploitation or neglect that have occurred in school, at home or in the community.

We work with school committees, community leaders, village level government officials and community champions to: promote positive disciplining and the decrease of corporal punishment; encourage reporting of observed mistreatment, abuse or neglect, including rape; promote ‘positive parenting.’

This project also focuses on student engagement; specifically, supporting pupils to become aware of, and confident enough, to demand their rights to protection, and to articulate their concerns within the safe space provided by school health clubs.

“When I was 10, I was raped by my grandfather. One day at school I heard about a new health club being run under the ERP project. I decided to join, and I learnt a lot – about my health and being confident. After two years’ of membership, I have started to regain the self-esteem I lost the moment my grandfather entered my room.

One evening I found myself alone with my grandfather, and he requested me to sleep with him. All that had occurred came flooding back to me and in my mind, I relived the night that had shattered me. In that moment, I thought about what I had learnt from being a health club member, that I have a right to have my voice heard. I didn’t falter. I replied ‘no’ and ran away for the night. I was forced to sleep in a bush but that night bore in me a more conscious and independent girl. A girl that has now taken a vow never again to allow someone to silence my voice.”

Aisha, health club member