The SOCPD (Somali Child Protection and Development) has undertaken many initiatives in partnership with TPO (Transcultural Psycho-Social Organization). The following initiatives: 1) Awareness Workshops, 2) Psycho-Social Services, 3)IEC Materials, 4) Somali Children’s Day, 5) Radio Programs,6) School Based Psychosocial Support, 7) Child Friendly Spaces 8) Support and Interventions are described in detail below.
The SOCPD (Somali Child Protection and Development)in partnership with TPO (Transcultural Psycho-Social Organisation) conducted 5 awareness raising workshops on protection of women and children and trained 150 members from IDPs and established 20 child protection committees and community support structured in IDPs settlement. SOCPD has conducted follow up result assessment workshop involving 30 IDP leaders (½ male) from 15 IDP camps and members of the Child Protection Committees (CPC) in the Afgoi Corridor. The workshops were conducted to increase the protection of women and children in IDP settlements. The results from the workshop 'Addressing Learning Barriers and Protection Concerns in IDPs: Settlement Project at Afgoi Corridor' were assessed from 13 of the 15 participating IDP's. The assessment from the workshop indicates an increased awareness of violence against women and children showing positive steps towards addressing the issue at community level. The workshop succeeded in creating awareness among the IDP's about the rights of women and children as well as recognizing the need to eradicate domestic violence. However, more intensive awareness raising is needed to reach more people. During the project individuals with psycho-social problems were identified. The individuals (e.g Orphans, survivors of GBV, families and children with psychosocial problems, and students with learning barriers) were then provided with psycho-social support and counseling services. The IEC materials were developed and disseminated in July-December 2008.
As a result there is a stronger Community network and co-operation in these settings as evidenced by community members action's of reporting violations against women and children. There is hope that the reporting will lead to a significant reduction of violence against women and children and family breakdown/divorce. The community is now able to openly communicate with social workers and receive psycho-social support. For example this period the participating IDP's have reported 22 cases of violations against women and children including four cases of rape. Prior to the awareness raising workshop the community used to hide violations, but after the community education they are able to report and actively participate in the responsibility of the protection of women and children. Also, established Community schools in IDP camps are working with CEC's (Community Education Committees) to pressure parents to send their children to school. As a result more girls will be enrolled in school and there will be an increase of school enrolment in IDP camps. SOCPD has trained 210 Community Education Committees (CECs)in tented Schools Afgoi Corridor and established Community Support Structures and 20 Child Protection Committees(CPC) in IDPs settlements.
SOCPD in partnership with TPO continues to provide psycho-social support and counseling to the children and parents who experienced violence. The SOCPD helps children and parents to cope with the situation in a positive manner. Children and families with psycho-social problems are able to find support offered by social workers that provide support to family members, vulnerable children, survivors of GBV (Gender Based Violence), and children with learning barriers as a result of traumatic experiences in schools.
Linkages are being created among students, parents, CEC's, SOCPD, and Organizations working IDMA( Investigation, Documentation, Monitoring and Advocacy) for violations against children regarding UN resolution 1612 in efforts to reach more clients and provide psycho-social support and counseling to promote positive copping mechanism.
Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) Materials-Posters:
SOCPD under TPO Partnership developed and produced IEC materials to disseminate information to the community. The IEC materials consisted of 500 posters with five different messages. The messages conveyed in the posters were easy to interpret and understand, The posters and were also an appropriate tool for awareness building on Child protection, GBV, domestic violence, corporal punishment in schools, and HIV/AIDS among an illiterate community. The pictures on the posters provoked discussions on issues illustrated in the posters and helped the community to generate interesting discussions and suggestions on how to address the above issues.
Somali Children’s Day
SOCPD continuous efforts to improve the situation of children in Somalia organized Somali Children's Day. The theme of this day was "Stop Child Recruitment". Key messages were conveyed to warring parties to halt launching of Mortar Shells that kill or wound innocent children and parents which leave thousands homeless on the streets. The organizations also appealed to the TFG (Transitional Federal Government) to ratify UNCRC. Also, a meeting was held with Mogadishu regional authority to discuss the means and ways of protecting children against violence, particularly exploitation and discrimination of children in the IDP camps and children of minority clans who are the most disadvantaged.
SOCPD in partnership with TPO conducted twenty five local FM radio talk show programs involving victims of violence and influential members (I.e religious leaders, members of Mogadishu GBV working group, and respectable leaders of community). The participants of the radio programs contributed in a positive manner towards the creation of the desired attitude and behavioural change for Somalis.
The Radio programs addressed violations against women and children and educated the community at large to know their roles and responsibilities.
According to the survey conducted by SOCPD the radio programs increased awareness on the issue of violence against women and the role of the community and policy makers in protecting children and women against violence. Some victims reported cases of abuse against women to Hospitals and NGO's for documentation and support. Of the reported cases seven were rape cases which were documented and victims received psycho-social support.
The radio programs have also caused an attitude change, at the community level, among young listeners.
SCHOOL BASED PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT AND INTERVENTION
SOCPD in partnership with TPO have identified six tented schools around Afgoi Corridor and established recreational activities. The establishment of these recreational activities have increased school enrolment, protection, violence prevention, and reduced school drop-outs. SOCPD is actively engaged in the capacity building of community members and training of CEC's so parents are informed of their roles and responsibility on the rights of the child.
SOCPD has continued to implement school based psycho-social based programs with a child friendly approach to create conducive environment where children feel safe and socialized. The environments help to establish friendships among students and help students to develop emotionally and morally. By interacting with friends students learn social skills such as how to communicate, cooperate, and solve problems. The children practice controlling their emotions and responding to the emotions of others. Children develop the ability to think through and negotiate different situations that arise in their relationships. Through interaction with friends children have better attitudes about school and learning when they have friends at school as reported by a Shareco tented school teacher. Teachers reported students behaviour improvement.
SOCPD has provided students in selected schools structured activities sports sessions such as competitive skipping ropes and swings. SOCPD has also provided individual and group counseling as well as family visits to parents. The family visits promote positive copping mechanism among students and parents. Social workers encouraged parents to teach their children how to interact socially, handle competition and defeat, discuss differences, resolve conflicts, and deal with frustration in solving problems to cope with stress and anger. SOCPD believe that parents' involvement in their children's school and community life brought many benefits.
SOCPD has established 18 peer groups in six schools that are able to report violations in school. The peer groups have provided an opportunity to socialize, increased participation, created a forum to share experiences, and created friendship networks. Also, students are enjoying the availability of playing facilities.
SOCPD has strengthened corporation and networking with the community, CEC's, parents, and increased the community participation. The increase in community involvement has contributed to increased school enrolment at large. For example at the outset of the project in Jangoan tented school the number of students was 230 (100 girls and 130 boys) but later observed through students attendance list that number of students rose to 290 (123girls and 167boys).
Social workers continue to do family visits and community mobilization on the importance of education and protection of children, (Parents , elders, CECs, Religious leaders)and this reporting period. SOCPD Social workers also continue providing psychosocial support and counseling services to needed individuals and families with psychosocial problems, survivors of GBV, vulnerable children who experienced traumatic events resulted from endless conflict in the capital. Social workers done follow visits to clients and most clients received psychosocial support promoted positive coping mechanism in this regard.
School based psychosocial intervention has increased school enrolment and reduced school drop-outs and improved functional social relationship among students in tented schools in IDPs camps at Afgoi Corridor
Child Friendly Spaces
SOCPD under partnership with TPO established three Child Friendly Spaces (CFS), two in Balcad district and one in Afgoi corridor, Child Friendly Spaces, are where children received opportunity to share their experiences and SOCPD has provided children in CFS structured activities including songs, history telling, sports sessions and psychosocial support and counseling. Children are socialized and come up with active participation and promoted copping mechanism