“We didn’t believe the CPT at first, when they kept on telling us that change was coming, but the area really has changed for the better.”
- Justine, Masese II
This time last year, we began a process where communities could come together and evaluate the changes that have happened in their lives that year. Each group spends time listening to each other's stories, then they vote for the one they feel is the most significant.
Last year, discussions focussed on the positive impact of the loans and savings groups. What came through was a sense of hope for the future and many individuals described feeling happier, gaining confidence and having pride.
In the last few months, these four communities (Masese I, II, III and Loco) have repeated the process, to evaluate how individuals and communities are being affected by the work of the Child Protection Teams (CPTs).
These are some of the highlights for 2018:
Better health and hygiene
A safer environment for children, at home and in the community
This was a strong theme across all the stories, with people talking about improvement in parenting through workshops and support. Children described how they were no longer neglected and how they now felt protected and loved by their parents, many of whom reported that the workshops helped them realise they hadn’t been caring for their children properly.
Outside the home, neighbourhood watch schemes have helped with the return of many missing and kidnapped children. There have been thwarted abduction attempts and a reduction in the occurrence of child abuse. On the 3rd February 2019, kidnappers stole Raymond’s three year old daughter from his home. The perpetrators gave up, as the community immediately sounded the alarm, and the girl was rescued. Raymond says “Had it not been for the CPT instilling a ‘community watch’ for local people, telling us that everyone counts, and that every alarm is for a reason, my daughter would be no more”.
Education loans are having an impact
Loans were a popular topic last year, and this year was no different, but what became even more prominent were examples of how the loans are having an impact on the children themselves.
Barbara is 12 years old and explained how “We used to sleep like soldiers as we had nothing to cover ourselves. In the day we walked around Masese III almost naked and other children would always laugh at us. Since my mother started her charcoal business we now have some bedding, we are assured of a daily meal and through the little money that she earns, she has been able to send me and my brother to school”.
Children are leading and having a voice
Younger voices were featured more in this year’s stories, because younger people are now more active through the activities of the Child Rights Clubs in Loco and Masese I. After a session on rights and responsibilities facilitated by the CPT in Masese I, Harriet said “After this, the community children felt more protected, as before no adult took time to listen to their views”.
These stories are a tiny reflection of an overwhelming amount of the examples shared and the hundreds of lives changed, all through the dedication of forty local volunteers, across four communities. To support this work further, just click the buttons below.