The Family Life and Gender Justice Department of the All Africa Conference of Churches headed by Rev. Dr. Lydia Mwaniki, has just ended a three-day workshop on child safeguarding and wellbeing at the Desmond Tutu Conference Centre, in Nairobi, Kenya, on the theme “Conflict and crisis in Africa: protecting all children’s rights”.
The workshop, which was held from 23 to 25 May 2016, opened each day with a devotion focused on the theme which also included specific prayers for children. It gathered 43 participants from 10 countries in Southern and Eastern Africa and was the opportunity for them to know – or be reminded – about the importance of child protection as a biblical mandate, the legal instruments available at global level for child protection such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), at regional level, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) and even in the constitutions of the various countries.
The All Africa Conference of Churches partnered with other organizations such as Compassion International, World Vision, Save the Children and the African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (ANPPCAN). The workshop was also an opportunity for the Executive Secretary, Youth and Children Ministry, Ms. Zipporah Mwaura, to share with the participants the content of the AACC Child Safeguarding Policy. Likewise, representatives of different churches also shared with the other participants what they had been doing in the field of child protection and where there was need for improvement.
At the end of the workshop, the participants made some commitments on what they intended to do at the level of their organizations and churches and what they could do at personal level, which they signed. The All Africa Conference of Churches will have to follow up on these commitments and also organize other similar workshops to give the opportunity to more people to engage in child protection.