Strategic Action For Eradication of child abuse (SAFE)
SAFE was first registered in Uganda on 7th December 2006 with aims and objectives summarised below
• To bring awareness to the public about the rights of children and what constitutes child abuse. Physical abuse of children for example, hitting and maiming children, burning or cutting off of hands following theft, the neglect of children’s education and health, the sex abuse of children for example engaging in sexual activities with children under 16 years of age, trafficking them for purposes of sex exploitation are some of the abuses SAFE aims to stop.
• To sensitise the public of child protection as a responsibility for all and raise awareness in Uganda about improving organisational capacity for community based child protection groups.
• To lobby the Government and advocate for joint child protection investigation strategy involving key stakeholders in the area of child protection and a single lead Agency to coordinate their activities to ensure maximum effectiveness.
• Working together with other stakeholders to cover the gaps in child protection procedures and make them transparent to investigative teams, the children and members of the public. Here all involved should know what to do in case child abuse occurs i.e. who to tell? What to do with the information when told?
• To establish networks to provide basic training for those involved in implementing child protection work; what is child protection; what are we protecting children from/ what is considered abusive? How should abusers be dealt with?
• Ensuring that children are protected while investigations are being carried out by providing SAFE transit homes and diversionary activities to minimise further abuse.
WHAT WE DO
Currently we have 5 major programmes to help us realise our aims and objectives.
1. We have been conducting awareness forums in places where children congregate like schools, churches, mosques and slums areas where the message is very difficult to reach.
We aim to conduct at least 2 forums a month.
2. Rapid response; here we work very closely with members of the public and other agencies especially welfare officers and the Police who call upon us to house abused children who are sometimes picked up on streets and others who have suffered abuse at the hands of their care givers.
3. We operate a drop in facility at our offices in Old Kampala where children or carers walk in and talk to us about their problems. We offer help and support where we can and sign post others to appropriate organisations for their individual needs.
4. At our Transit home in Nsimbe, we house the children picked up through the rapid response programme and aim to keep them up to 2 years during which time we assess, counsel them, we give them an education suitable to their needs and eventually resettle them back with their families where a protective family member has been identified. Alternatively, we place them with organisations that offer permanent homes or place the children with foster or adoptive carers.
5. There is a great need for child care support among slum dwelling communities around Kampala; this project has not yet taken off due to lack of funding. However, it is a project that we aim to develop as a feasibility study conducted in February last year by Sarah Kwagala with Judith Kinobe in Kakajjo found many children minded in appalling conditions while their parents went to work.
WHERE DO WE WANT TO BE/VISION FOR THE FUTURE
• Awareness – we want to have regular slots to air our programmes on T.V and Radio.
• We want to see us involved in training programmes for child protection champions
• We want to see ourselves involved in round table meeting with Government agencies to devise child protection policies and procedures for the Ugandan child.
• We want to see a revolving door environment at Nsimbe with children coming in and resettled quickly. We want to see older children get a chance to learn vocational skills from our farm projects and other projects that we hope to develop so that they are equipped for life when they go back to their communities.
• Where we want to have better educational facilities at our premises to enable the children benefit from the outset.
• We want to develop our vocational training facilities so that we could open these to the benefit nearby communities.
• We want to see our programmes rolled out to all provinces in Uganda.
Who is responsible for SAFE?
• Judith Kinobe – CEO
• Elizabeth Sempebwa – Director ( Treasurer)
• Olivia Rine Mwebeiha – Director (Secretary)
• Mary Nabuwamu – Director (Public relations)
• James Semakadde – Director
• Sarah Kiyingi – Director ( membership mobilization)
• Asha Musoni – Director
The Advisory board of Patrons
• Asumani Kinobe – Chairman
• Sarah Ibanda – Member
• May Caplin – Member
• Mark Ntege – Member
• Grania Rubomboras – Member
Main Funders – African Children’s Fund (U.K)
Dee Tyrer – CEO