The National Empowerment Program for women and children protection (NEP) has launched its campaign against child abuse with a call to protect the rights of children in Liberia.
The campaign against child abuse is in an effort to fight those involved in abusing the rights of children, including rape, child labor among other forms of abuse.
As a means to tackle such issues within the country, NEP and its partners have empowered 33 communities and 55 participants in a three-day intensive workshop held at NEP headquarters in rural Montserrado County.
Speaking at the three day workshop, NEP Executive Director Sianeh Omeze said the workshop would provide better education on how to tackle the issues of the protection of the rights of children within the communities.
She said the issue of child abuse is vey rampant and remains a major challenge in Liberia which needs to be addressed urgently in order to protect the rights of children in the country.
She disclosed that the first phase of the campaign will benefit directly 300 Ebola orphans, children affected by Ebola and survivors within those communities.
The NEP boss said her organization is working in partnership with Plan Liberia that is providing support and at the same time working with other child rights organizations to ensure that the rights of children are well protected.
“In order to enforce the campaign against child abuse, those from the various communities that were empowered through the intensive training with different kinds of child abuse and how to tackle issues of such within their communities, towns and villages, will serve as child protection promoters,” NEP boss assured.
Director Omeze asserted that during their interaction with various community leaders while carrying on awareness on Ebola preventive measures, the leaders revealed child abuse as a major issue.
She said following their complains on child abuse led her organization to take bold steps by organizing workshops and establishing psychosocial counseling centers that will address the issues to transform the lives of children who are effected as a result of the EVD.
“NEP and Plan Liberia supported the establishment of the 3 psychosocial counseling centers to cater to children after schools by allowing them engage into activities that will make them feel great and important in the society despite the EVD Crisis,” she said.
According to Tonia Gaye, a resident of Kamara Town in lower Montserrado, a participant of the three days workshop, the training empowered her to work in protecting the rights of children.
Madam Gaye said the issue of child abuse must be look into because it’s dangerous for the future leaders of the country, noting that she will battle against violators of child rights.
“Some parents are still in the habit of violating the rights of their children but I Tonia volunteer to fight against this totally, and I will educate parents and guardians on the importance of protecting the rights of children,” Madam Gaye said.
She thanked NEP for the intensive training which she said has empowered her to take up the challenge by engaging others to win the fight against child abuse in the country.