Parents have been tipped on the best parenting practices that will protect their children from abuse during this second lockdown on schools.
As one of the measures to mitigate COVID-19 spread in the country, government ordered for closure of all learning institutions in Uganda effective Monday 7th June 2021.
During the previous lockdown on schools, there was an increase of cases of violence against children reported in different parts of the country.
Micheal Ogweng the senior probation and welfare officer Kitgum district advises parents to love their children, spend quality time with them and provide them with all the basic necessities to avoid getting them from ill – intensioned people in the society.
” If you don’t show love to your children some body else will and that some body is the perpetrator. There are some parents who are rude and their children feel safe only when they are away from home which is dangerous. Let’s provide for our children most especially the girl child. Some of the children don’t ask when in need so it is up to their parents to pay attention to them.” Said Ogweng during a ChildFund Uganda media tour in Kitgum district on Tuesday.
He also wants government to orient local councils on their role in child rights protection to curb violance against children in the society.
“There’s need to train LC1s, LC2s and LC3s on the children act which mandates them to ensure the welfare of children in their localities. They are constitutionally put in those offices but they are not oriented so they don’t know what to do. Cases like child neglect among other minor cases wouldn’t be reported to the probation offices if the system of the local council was functional.” Explained Ogweng
With the inception of the Empowering Communities to Protect Children program that was implemented in the district by Acholi Child and Family Program on behalf of Child Fund Uganda, community members have been empowered to report cases of violance against children to the relevant authorities which has helped in the fight against them according to James Omara the coordinating patron of the project in Kimatidi and Lagoro subcounties in Kitgum district.
“The cases are now reported right from the children and even the parents report to us and we handle them or refer them to relevant authorities depending on the magnitude of the cases. There has been positive attitude of the parents towards education and the project has also promoted advocacy of children rights at all levels.” Said Omara
According to the district statistics, a total of 1,778 cases of teenage pregnancies were reported in the district last year alone. Other cases of child abuse reported include early marriages, defilenment, child neglect and child labor among others.
About Empowering Communities to Protect Children (ECP) project.
ChildFund Uganda with funding from ChildFund Korea, implemented a project aiming to protect children by empowering communities with information and tools to fight all forms of violence against children.
The project was implemented through ChildFund Uganda implementing partner Acholi Child and Family Program (ACFP) with collaboration from Kitgum District local government.
Brenda Asiimwe the communications officer ChildFund Uganda says through the ECP project, children, their parents/caretakers and leaders in the subcounties of Kimatidi and Lagoro in Kitgum district were engaged, trained and equipped with knowledge on how to better protect children.