Ukonga Dar es salaam, November 2023.
In a proactive response to a distressing surge in Violence Against Children (VAC) cases, Sema swiftly addressed the call for intervention made by the Ukonga Ward Executive Officer (WEO), Ms. Neema Heddi. This prompt action aimed at providing crucial services and support unfolded in a series of impactful school visits in Ukonga Ward, Ilala Municipal, Dar es salaam.
Photo: Ms Angela Ouma providing awareness on VAC while pupils are listening together with their teachers at Juhudi Primary school on 09th Nov 2023.
School visits and engagement: Sema, alongside Ukonga-Social Welfare Officer and the Mtaa Executive Officer (MEO), engaged with three primary schools—Ukonga, Juhudi, and Ukonga Jica. Each visit involved introductions by the team leader, Sema VAC & mental health expert, Mr. Bosco Bosco, highlighting the significance of the Child Helpline number "116." The team provided valuable insights into child abuse identification, the roles of abusers, signs of abuse, and appropriate actions for abused children. Integral to the sessions were reproductive health education and mental health discussions tailored to adolescent understanding. An enlightening segment involved an engaging song reinforcing body autonomy, empowering children to protect themselves.
Empowerment and immediate action: The team emphasized the importance of an open communication window for children to report abuse incidents, leading to some courageous children stepping forward. Sema Tanzania swiftly responded by handing over these cases to social workers for immediate action, ensuring prompt support and intervention.
Acknowledging frontline efforts and recommendations: Commendation was extended to the Ukonga Ward Executive Director for taking a leading role in combating violence against children. Recognising the need for holistic involvement, recommendations were put forth to engage parents actively and enhance teacher preparedness in addressing Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and violence issues within schools.
Photo: Mr. Bosco Bosco providing information to pupils about services provided by Child Helpline 116 and Ukonga-Social Welfare Officer following closely at Ukonga Primary school, 08th Nov 2023.
Conclusion: The impactful school visits orchestrated by Sema served as a vital initiative to address and prevent violence against children. Through education, engagement, and empowerment, these efforts strive to create safer learning environments and empower young minds to protect their well-being.
The commitment to combatting violence against children remains steadfast, calling for collective efforts from various stakeholders to ensure the safety and well-being of children within their communities.
This report reflects the tireless dedication of Sema and collaborative efforts with community leaders, educators, and the youth to combat VAC, advocating for a safer and more supportive environment for children's growth and development.
Prepared Ms Angela Ouma, VAC & SRH expert and reviewed and published by C-Sema's Communication Team.