First public awareness campaign on the prevention of the neglect of children and promotion of alternative forms of assumption of responsibility for children

First public awareness campaign on the prevention of the neglect of children and promotion of alternative forms of assumption of responsibility for children
Some fifty participants attended, on Thursday October 7, 2010 at the Kaleb Hotel in Addis Ababa, the inauguration of the first countryside public awareness campaign on the prevention of abandonment/neglect of children and the promotion of alternative forms of assumption of responsibility for children, organized by two local non-governmental organizations, Save Your Generation Ethiopia and Radio Fana and financed by the French embassy in Ethiopia, with UNICEF’s contribution. The president of the federal court of Addis Ababa and the president of the commission on human rights, as well as representatives from several governmental organizations travelled to attend this important event.

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In her opening statement, Mrs. Mahider Bitew, Director of the department for the well-being and rights of the child in the Ethiopian Ministry for women, highlighted the importance of such an initiative, against the background of the need to protect children from any form of abuse and prevent them from finding themselves in vulnerable situations.

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The representative of the UNICEF Ethiopia, Douglas Webb, chief of the department Adolescence, Protection and VIH/SIDA, in his declaration, greeted the efforts of the French embassy in the field of the child welfare, in particular the private childhood of family. He recognized that the creation of a station devoted especially to childhood with the French embassy allowed concrete projections in this field, with a real practical application of initiatives in favour of a promotion of alternatives of assumption of responsibility of the children.
The participants in the inauguration could have a first impression of the activities of theatre-forum which will take place throughout this public awareness campaign, while attending a representation of the teenagers of the local organization Hope for Children tackling the question of the institutionalization of the children and the choice of a mother in distress about the fate of his/her children. The public, questioned by the organizer of the part, tried to propose to the mother alternatives supporting the maintenance of the children in their family.

Indeed, from September 2010 to June 2011, the public awareness campaign of the public will be carried out via the radio to national diffusion (in languages amharic and afan oromo), the theatre-forum, of band-drawn photographic, an exposition of artistic photographs, posters and booklets, a training of actors of the child welfare, as well as a newsgroup around the international day of the children, in Addis Ketema and Yeka, two districts of the capital.

In a country cash five million orphan children according to the UNICEF, the access to various forms of alternative assumption of responsibility of the children remains limited. The vulnerable families of the poor communities, the mothers in particular, not knowing always the possibilities which open with them, often consider like only alternative a placement of their child in institution or international adoption.
With as leitmotiv “Every child must grow in a family circle”, the countryside will inform the public on the existence and the effects of various forms of assumption of responsibility : nuclear families, widened, of reception, national adoption, then international adoption on a purely subsidiary basis and institutionalization like last recourse. In addition, it will be a question of mobilizing the resources of the communities and the actors of the child welfare, in order to increase their participation in better care/wellfare of the children.
The piloting of the program is ensured by the Ethiopian Ministry for women, the Office of women of Addis Ababa, the Federal court of first authority of Addis Ababa, the UNICEF, ONG Family Health International and the French embassy in Ethiopia.
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This project belongs to the many activities financed by the French embassy in Ethiopia in favour of the private child welfare of family. Thus, since May 2009, the creation of a station of Operations manager for the child welfare and the international adoption allowed, in addition to the public awareness campaign of the public, to support, with height 185.000 euros, of the projects of ONG local working with the children of the streets and other disadvantaged children, to ensure a training of administrative staff regional and institutions to promote the alternative assumption of responsibility of the children, to finance the acquisition of equipment for the paediatric service of a hospital of area, like allowing the opening of a school of district for underprivileged children as well as a rehabilitation of the library of a public orphanage capital.
For more information on this pilot program and overall on the project concerning with the child welfare supported by the French embassy in Ethiopia, thank you to contact Mariama Diallo, Mission leader for the child welfare : mariama.diallo@diplomatie.gouv.fr.

Dernière modification : 11/07/2011

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