ChildFund in partnership with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) and other child protection agencies on Saturday launched a School-Based Violence Prevention pilot project (SBVP) held at Jambanjelly Lower Basic School.
The SBVP Pilot project model aims to enhance the skills of school caregivers, and educators to prevent, mitigate, and respond to violence against children in homes, schools, and their communities.
Speaking on behalf of ChildFund Country Director, NfamaraDabo, Program, and Sponsorship Director said the SBVP is a comprehensive program model that works to prevent and reduce violence against children ages 6-12 in schools, homes, and community and to help strengthen the communication, comprehension, and reasoning skills of children.
He added that the program is being piloted in two schools, Jambanjelly LBS convention school and Quranic Illumination Centre, noting the SBVP as a program model has four main components namely; Children, Educators, Caregivers/Parents, and Community members.
The Program and Sponsorship Director emphasized that the act of violence Against Children in the home and community create barriers to learning and is further aggravated when violence continues in school.
He said that is the reason ChildFund in partnership with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary education came together to implement a pilot program model called SBVP to better understand and utilize a curriculum that provides a comprehensive approach to reducing the prevalence of violence in schools and the homes for better social health and academic outcomes.
“This historic launching marked the beginning of a comprehensive program to ensure children are safe in schools, at home, and in their communities. ChildFund will work with key partners, the government, other partners including child protection agencies, local partners; Ding DingYiwira, SaamaKairo, and Foni Ding Ding Federation, educators, parents /caregivers, and children to achieve this goal,” he said.
For her part, Ms. Bintou Fatty, Director of Children Affairs, stated that the launching of SBVP in schools by ChildFund the Gambia is a laudable initiative and will go a long way in complementing the effort of the Gambian Government in protecting children against Gender-Based Violence in schools.
“The government as well as a partner institution, we should do more to tackle more social, cultural attitudes, gender discrimination, poverty being significant rivals of violence against children,” she noted.
Alieu Mendy, Federation Manager, also said they want the project to help within the community to ensure that at least three sectors of the community understand it, come together, and work together, adding that to make SBVP possible, the three groups should work together with parents, educators, and children.
He stated that once the SBVP is comprehensively done and highly collaborated with the education department to see that it is invaded in the curriculum and all schools across the Gambia it will create a friendly environment for children.
Other dignitaries including Lamin Fatajo Regional Education Director of West Coast Region, and Governor of West Region Hon Ousman Bojang also spoke at length.