At Compassion, we want every child to be known, loved and protected. Our projects are safe havens where children receive the support they need. And through RESPOND, we’re able to raise funds to ensure children get the extra help they need when they face tough situations.
From trauma counselling to educating parents, RESPOND allows our local church partners to go the extra mile to protect the children in their care.
In Indonesia, three of our church partners have launched a new initiative with this aim in mind. “We created Child Protection Ambassador to [help] adults become aware of children’s rights, through the children themselves,” said Delon, a Compassion child protection staff member at one of the projects.
Children were selected at each project to speak about child protection issues with their friends and families. To be chosen to be an ambassador, the children must be good at public speaking and possess a sound knowledge of self-protection.
So what do the children think of child protection issues? “Every child in the world deserves to be loved and protected by any parents, caregiver or an adult around them, because if they are not able to do their part, children will be the victim of any violence,” says Syane, one of the ambassadors. “I still live in an environment where adults tend to do violence against children,” adds another ambassador, Elkarianti.
The role of these ambassadors is to introduce their peers to 10 children’s rights including education and protection against abuse. Since the programme started, there have been some positive changes. “Parents and adults who live around the project are becoming more caring with children. It is shown by their awareness to do parenting without acts of violence,” Delon said.
And the children haven’t stopped with their parents. They also advocated for children’s rights through a campaign to the local government in their village, sub district and district. As the result of their actions, the government established rules about child protection for the villages. Hefi, a Child Protection Ambassador, says “I am glad that as a young person I’m able to do this part, a part to let others know that we exist so no one can [act] carelessly with any child.”
“We hope that through the campaign and existence of the ambassador, day-by-day people, especially adults around the project, will have a better understanding and awareness regarding the child protection matter. At least the number of [abuse] cases is reducing,” says Adolfince, a Compassion child protection staff member. “We are still fighting to protect our children, to save the generation. This is responsibility of all adults until we are going back to Him.”
Learn more about our Child Protection Response