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Advocacy & Community Capacity Development

Project Title: Reunification and Community Reintegration (RCR) for children in institutions

Child Protection Society in partnership with 6 other organisations implemented the RCR project targeting children (both girls and boys) in residential care institutions, hospitals and prisons in all the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe from 2007 to December 2010.  The project aimed at addressing the problem of the increase in the number of children living outside the family environment. The aim of the project was to reunify children with traceable relatives with families or relatives and reintegrate them with communities. The Department of Social Services (DSS) spearheaded the reunification processes while partners coordinated the activities and managed project finances. 72 registered children’s homes participated in the project. Main project activities included; counseling of children and receiving families, relative tracing, reunification, follow-up of reunified children, provision of targeted support, pre-reunification vocational training, provincial stakeholders coordination meetings and capacity development of institution staff. A total of 801 children were reunified by December 2010.

Project Title: Case handling project

Since the year 2000, CPS has been implementing advocacy and awareness raising projects on the rights of children in all the provinces of Zimbabwe. Of note is the Zero Tolerance against Child Abuse (ZTACA) project which was funded by UNICEF in 16 districts of Zimbabwe and the Birth Registration Project which was funded by ZADF-PACT on a national level. The level of awareness invoked by these interventions led to an increase in the number of families and children requesting protection services. CPS established a case handling portfolio to assist children and families with counselling and referral for further support. CPS works with government departments such as the Department of Social Services and the Zimbabwe Republic Police Victim Friendly Unit to handle abuse cases. For children in need of services, CPS utilizes the referral system to offer support for children in need of care. On average CPS handles 15 cases a month.

Project Title: Enhancing Social Inclusion of Mobile and Vulnerable Populations (MVP) through Child Participation

Child Protection Society (CPS) carried out a community advocacy initiative, in Mashonaland West Province, Mhondoro-Ngezi District, wards 11, 13 and 14, which was funded by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). The project aimed to promote social inclusion of the MVPs in communities and improve access to social services for children and to reduce social discrimination among these vulnerable communities. The overall objective of the project was to give the children of the MVPs a voice in issues that affect them through the setting up of child participation groups where children would learn to tackle their problems through learning about their rights and sharing experiences which would result in an increase in reporting of abuse cases and increased participation of children in the MVPs community in the decision making processes that affect their lives. The project involved stakeholders’ sensitization workshops to mobilize other partners for support and buy in, community dialogue meetings with children to identify issues and target decision makers for advocacy, selection of children’s committees in areas where they are not in place, lobby facilitators through meetings of existing child participation structures to include MVPs in the structures, conduct training on child abuse prevention with stakeholders in MVP communities and to conduct community awareness raising workshops on child rights and protection issues.

Project Title:  Creating durable solutions Internally Displaced Populations through School Development Committees (SDCs) and youth empowerment.

The project has been designed to complement the former initiative of enhancing social inclusion of children in MVPs through child participation. It was discovered that MVPs needed assistance in accessing education which might contribute greatly in preventing child abuse and promoting child rights and participation in these communities. The later project aims to enhance social protection for orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) and youths and school development among vulnerable populations through increasing the capacity of School Development Committees to respond to the developmental needs of the school and to increase access to education for OVCs. SDCs will be provided with grants for viable livelihood projects of their choice through mini-proposals. CPS will enter into agreements with the schools for 1) management of funds and 2) block grant through a resource exchange method on school development and livelihood grants for a number of orphans and other vulnerable children who can not afford school fees and levies. In addition the project seeks to economically empower out of school youths through vocational skills training. The project is being implemented in Mhondoro-Ngezi District, wards 11, 13 and 14.