In mid-2021, the Social Work department started a Child Protection Training programme titled “Know Your Rights”. This initiative aims to:
- educate and raise awareness among all ElShaddai Centre students about child rights
- establish a holistic response mechanism and support system for students who face situations of abuse and violence.
The training highlights three main child rights: the right to education, the right to protection from child labour, and the right to protection from violence and abuse. Under the right to protection from abuse, we teach students to identify different types of abuse, including physical, emotional, and sexual. For students aged 10 and above, we highlight the impacts of child marriage and the importance of remaining in school as a child below 18 years old. For students below 10 years old, we emphasised the concepts of “good and bad touch”, as well as “safe and unsafe touch”.
The training is designed to be highly interactive and engaging, with several hand-written activities, dancing and singing, and a snack break to keep students attentive and focused. After each training session, the respective head teachers of the learning centres receive a poster that summarises the training content. The poster is then posted at visible areas of the centre to serve as a constant reminder for students. Most importantly, the poster includes channels of support and phone numbers that students can reach out to, should they face any situations of abuse.
In 2022, we are grateful to have started our first in-person training session in February, starting with the Primary School (PRIME), followed by the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP), and then the respective community centres around Klang, amounting to a total of 10 learning centres.
Among the 10 centres, two are collaborations with other refugee learning centres: the Ghulam Hussain Ayaz Learning Centre (GHALC), an Ahmedi refugee learning centre, and Refugee Academy Meru, a community learning centre for Rohingya students. In this collaboration, we conducted four sessions of child protection training together with the centre’s teachers.
In total, 1,062 students (including 12 mothers and 2 fathers in Johan Setia learning centre) were trained in child protection this year, including 914 ElShaddai learning centre students, and 148 external learning centre students.