Several steps have been taken to prevent and protect children against violence. However, there is still a lot of work to do to ensure their complete protection. One of the countries in which KidsRights operate on this front is Liberia. Indeed, according to The Silent Majority report, one of the main causes of violence against children is poverty. Together with our project partner ANPPCAN we want to mobilize communities to break this circle. This is done through two Child Help Desks, to which children can report cases of violence and will make sure that these will be handled in accordance with the national Children’s Law.
This story of hope is about Fatu. He is a beneficiary of the project being carried out by ANPPCAN and KidsRights. One of the Child Help Desk Officers of his community invited him to one of the trainings held by ANPPCAN. Before then, Fatu says, he had no understanding on children’s nor mine rights and responsibilities. He did not know how to react to abuse, violence and bullying. He did not know that he had the opportunity and the possibility to stop hurting. He natural reaction, not surprisingly, was to be violent, abusive and a bully to other and weaker children. It was a vicious circle he did not know how to break. In addition, Fatu came to the conclusion that education was useless, so he stopped going regularly to school.
Fatu enthusiastically said that at the training he had the opportunity to learn about his rights, what steps to take to prevent violence against children and who to report this violence to. He also learned about his responsibilities, how to be respectful to others, and that for a healthy and best development he needs to regularly attend school and participate in academic activities, as well.
After the training, Fatu has decided to volunteer at the Child Help Desk, so to monitor and report child abuse cases. Furthermore, he has been active in spreading awareness to children in his community about their rights and provide them information on what the Child Help Desk can do to assist them.
Since the training, Fatu admits that he has changed his behavior positively. As the result, many children and young people are beginning to see him as their role model; something that motivates him to do more in standing up for children’s rights in his community. He concluded that this project has provided him the opportunity to realize his full potential in becoming a positive model in his community.