SCG, YMCA Initiative to Prevent Violence against Children

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Search for Common Ground (SFCG), in partnership with the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) of Liberia,  has initiated a program aimed at preventing violence against children.

At a one-day validation workshop in Monrovia, the two groups made presentations on the theme, “Engaging Children and Youth as Partners in Preventing Violence against Children.”

In their separate presentations, the group with one accord expressed the belief that many children were being dislocated from their parents as a result of child trafficking.

According to them, people leave the urban areas for the interior to get people’s children under the impression that they would send the children to school, but as they bring them, the children become domestic slaves and are faced with violence.

Another form of violence, the groups said involves early marriage of girl children.

Presenters lamented that many parents force their girls into early marriages with the intent of providing daily bread for them; something SFCG and YMCA believe is detrimental to the rights of a child.

Earlier, SFCG Country Director, Oscar Bloh, explained that the global objective of the project is to contribute to the eradication of all forms of violence against children.

He said the project is youth-led, but will have an adult support, and is also implemented in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The program, according to Mr. Bloh, is divided into four phases with the first dealing with desk review and the second having to do with evidence sharing methods.

The third phase, he said, will also be evidence sharing method and the fourth will deal with how these methods can be used for future   evidence.

He maintained that the project  will be heavily directed at  children and youth centered interests and research, noting that its outcome is expected to come up with recommendations that will advocate for multi-sectoral implementation of actions and new policies that will address the needs of children and the youth.

For his part, the YMCA national general secretary E. Edward Gboe, noted that child protection and the fight for child rights are very challenging in Liberia, and that addressing them needs a lot of efforts by stakeholders.

He expressed the hope that YMCA and its partners will ensure a positive outcome that will enhance child protection and child rights in the country are formulated.

The program was sponsored by the European Union.

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