Review and planning with LVLE team
LVLEâ€™s work has comprised two main areas: training pastors and school leaders in child protection, and supporting street-living children. They are also involved at Mubambiro, an internally-displaced peopleâ€™s camp, but that work is currently not funded by BCT.
This is the core element of LVLEâ€™s work. Jean-Paul, in particular, is clearly a very good trainer, and the whole team are confident about helping schools and churches and families to put the training into practice.
Trainings on Creating Safe Environments for Children have also included material on positive parenting. These messages have been passed on to individual families and to whole churches/schools.
So far, they have trained 32 pastors over three sessions. 27 of these have covered the full course. The next group of 32 has been invited and are about to begin the training. The team has followed up the participants, and 24 have passed on the training in their own churches.
We made several recommendations for developing this area of LVLEâ€™s work, including:
- that Touch Talk be distributed to these committees once each church represented has in place its Child Protection Policy and its Child Protection Officer.
- that groups which have received training might be able to take on pastoral visits to families at risk of breakdown as an abuse prevention measure.
- that church groups might be able to identify volunteers and possible trainers from within their congregations, to work with LVLE.
2. Work with street-living children
The team explained some of the challenges of working with the children. For example, it is very hard to approach the children without something to offer them, and the government has introduced a policy of tracking down and imprisoning children who live on the streets. This makes it very difficult indeed to keep up with where the children are, as they change their locations very frequently.
The LVLE team have benefitted very much from the training with PEDER. With PEDERâ€™s help, they have drafted a comprehensive strategy for the work with street-living children. This strategy is a little over-ambitious but was a good starting point for me to make some recommendations to the team. The likely next steps are:
- establishing a Listening Point in an area where a manageable number of children congregate,
- building relationships of trust with a small number of children,
- working on mediation and reconciliation with families where the child wishes this to happen and where it is safe for the child to return,
- intentional collaborating with other organisations, rather than trying to do everything themselves.