Nurture Africa has been supporting children through education since its inception. From day one, the values of Nurture Africa have been focused upon enabling and empowering children in Uganda to create their own destinies. The existance of Corporal Punishment in Ugandan schools can stifle this focus. Through its Childs Rights department, Nurture Africa, in conjunction with the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) and our Irish teaching volunteers is seeking to "Make Corporal Punishment History" in 100 Primary Schools in Uganda by the end of 2016.
In a study carried out by Nurture Africa, with more than 1400 children in Uganda, 98% of children said that they had experienced corporal punishment at least once in their school life.
Nurture Africa CEO, Brian Iredale summarises the focus perfectly... "Nurture Africa is using this project as a case study and inspiration to the whole of Uganda and beyond, that with adequate partnerships, networking, communication and commitment, corporal punishment can be eliminated, children’s rights can be upheld and positive change can occur".
Umar Sekibala - Nurture Afrtica Child Protection Officer disseminating child rights
and examples of alternative measures of dicipline (towards elimination of corporal punishments) to Kyebando UMEA Primary School Techers and Guardians.
The success of this project will undoubtedly rely upon a cohesive approach from all skateholders involved.... Nurture Africa, school children themselves and their parents/guardians, all school staff, partner civil society organisations, the police and the (local) Government.
In 2014, the project targeted total elimination of corporal punishment in 30 schools, through the implementation of Child Protection Policies within these schools.
Up to April 2015 projects activities focused on and included:
Nurture Africa Child Rights department carried out workshops with Primary School children, and seperately with all school staff ensuring that all where educated on the Rights of a Child.
Irish Volunteer Teachers have facilitated 14 workshops on the use of alternative methods of discipline with Ugandan teaching staff from partner schools.
The development a "Child Protection Referral System" amongst the schools, police, local councils, Child Protection Committees, and Nurture Africa are ensuring that corporal punishment and other forms of child abuse are dealt with swiftly and comprehensively.
Student led “Child Rights Clubs” were formed in 12 primary schools, to ensure abuse is eliminated (students are directly represented to easily reach out and report abuse).
12 “Child Rights Committees”, each comprising of 2 teachers were also formed; to handle minor abuses and to refer criminal abuse through the established referral system (detailed above).
Letter boxes were introduced in 24 Primary Schools enabling children to report cases of abuse confidentially. Handled by the Child Rights Committees or referred (to school administration, school management committees, police etc.) depending on nature and gravity of abuse.
Each school drafted its own "Roadmap" targeting the total elimination of Corporal Punishment by the end of 2015.
25 "Child's Rights" Civil Society Organisations (CSO) were provided training in corporal punishment and how it can be reduced, the implementation of a referral system and their role within this system.
In both Wakiso and Mubende districts, through the advocacy process, Nurture Africa influenced the creation and composition of District Human Rights Commissions. These commissions meet regularly to review human rights status at district level. The Commissions are ensuring that all CSO's are mainstreaming child's rights in their action plans. The Commission has also requested a full "Making Corporal Punishment History" report from all participating Primary schools
The Nurture Africa Child Protection team facilitating "Child's Rights" training with students of Kazo Primary School, Wakiso district, Uganda.
At the end of 2014, there was one BIG question....... Is this project achieving any sustainable impact?? The answer was a resounding YES!
By December 2014, 24 schools had been supported to develop their own Child Protection Policies.
A survey in late 2014 with all students in 24 Primary schools shows that progress is being made.
75% of children from P4 - P7 (3rd - 6th class) now know their rights, how to demand for them and how to report cases of abuse.
It was also recorded that physical cases of corporal punishment have been eradicated in these schools. However verbal abuse remains.
In 2015, Nurture Africa will continue to expand the reach of this project by widening its reach to a further 30 Primary Schools.
Up to April 2015
7 schools have now completely banned and eradicated corporal punishment and resorted completely to alternative methods of discipline.
18 schools are in the process of banning corporal punishment and adhering to alternative methods of discipline
15 schools are being supported to develop their own Child Protection Policy clubs and committees in place.
Everyone at Nurture Africa wishes to humbly thank the INTO and our Irish Volunteer Teachers and our partners in Uganda for the work done and progress made in making corporal punishment history.