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One more Batch of 25 Volunteers On Board as CHILDLINE Ambassadors!

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One more Batch of 25 Volunteers On Board as CHILDLINE Ambassadors!

CHILDLINE India Foundation » CIF Events » One more Batch of 25 Volunteers On Board as CHILDLINE Ambassadors!

- Tabassum Pangarkar, Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Programme

Mumbai, 28th and 29th June 2014: 25 lady volunteers across Mumbai came together for a two day ‘Child Sexual Abuse Awareness’ training workshop by CHILDLINE India Foundation (CIF). This workshop was held at the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) International House in Mumbai Central. The training focused on the knowledge of Child Rights in India, various components and effects of Child Sexual Abuse, laws protecting children and the communication skills required to take this program to schools.

Since January 2011, CIF has been running the Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Programme (CSAAP) in schools across Mumbai. This is the preventive approach taken by CIF. Till date CSAAP has sensitized over 2, 70,000 children from 400 Schools about Safe Touch, Unsafe Touch and Personal Safety Rules. These children belong to different types of schools right from International schools to BMC schools. These sessions have become a platform for children to share their own experiences of abuse and have also created a support system for them. This is a very crucial and sensitive issue and to go and talk about it to children, volunteers need to have a basic understanding of the issue as well as basic skills to handle disclosure. This workshop’s objective is to equip all volunteers with an overview of CSA related issues (knowledge) and to provide them with the practical communication skills to prepare them for taking on the task of sensitizing children in schools.

One more Batch of 25 Volunteers On Board as CHILDLINE Ambassadors

Mr. Nishit Kumar, Head Communication & Strategic Initiatives, CIF, an expert in Child Protection, began with a session on how CHILDLINE 1098 functions across the country currently servicing yearly 4.5 million calls. Next session about C hild Protection and Child Rights in India was also conducted by Mr. Kumar, starting with a test on 'Rights in India'; which reflects the knowledge of the citizen about the rights existing for children in India. Very few of them were aware about it. Mr. Kumar explained to them the importance of this knowledge, while introducing them to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). He explained this topic with lot of real life examples, which made this session very interesting.

Later on in the workshop there was a session on understanding the issue of CSA and also handling disclosures of CSA cases. Ms. Suchismita Bose, Director, The Foundation, briefed about what is child sexual abuse, its impact, who are the abusers, physical and psychological signs shown by children who are facing abuse and how to handle first disclosure. To make them comfortable to talk about the issue Ms. Suchismita took one exercise where she asked participants to create songs using names of private body parts and sing it loudly. All the participants came up with good songs and enjoyed this activity. They shared that they were able to let go of their inhibitions and were now comfortable talking about the issue with children. She also screened a few clips from the movie ‘Monsoon Wedding’ which shows a little girl clearly demonstrating signs that she has been sexually abused by an uncle. However no one around her realizes this except for one young lady who went through the same trauma with this uncle when she was a little girl herself. Based on these clips, Suchismita discussed points like symptoms of a sexually abused child and how people react when an older person shares that they faced abuse as a child.

One more Batch of 25 Volunteers On Board as CHILDLINE Ambassadors

Day two of the workshop was conducted by Kavyal Sedani, Trainer and Therapist, Rise Above. This workshop started with an activity where Ms. Kavyal divided the ladies into groups and asked them to enact children’s stories like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and many others and give the story their own twist. This activity showcased their creativity and their spontaneity to think on their toes. It was a hilarious session where all participants become child-like and created wonderful stories which were out-of-the-box. Ms. Kavyal wanted to see how they enact emotions in drama and bring out their artistic side which the volunteers did extremely well. Through different activities, Ms. Kavyal explained the importance of body language, words and voice modulation in communication.

Ms. Kavyal and CSAAP team recorded these mock story-telling sessions. The recorded sessions were then screened for every participant and feedback was given. Due to this activity all the participants got an opportunity to analyze themselves and realize the characteristics in which they needed improvement. Ms. Kavyal herself was pleasantly surprised with the enthusiasm of the new batch of volunteers and said that she had to take less effort for this group as they are very well prepared.

Towards the end of the workshop the current scenario of laws protecting children in India was explained. Mr. Nishit Kumar briefed the participants about the new Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012, (POCSO) in detail and what is their role as a care giver.

This workshop was very well appreciated by the volunteers with one of the participant saying, “Thank you for a fabulous workshop that was conducted over the last 2 days on Child Sexual Abuse! Very informative and interactive indeed.” Another one said, “The session was very well organized. In these two days I've really learnt much. It was an amazing interactive session and it is really going to help us”.

At the end of the session CSAAP team briefed the volunteers about all the technical aspects and thanked all the participants for joining hands to work on this righteous cause.

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