CHILD SAFETY WEEK with the theme “Now Is The Time” was organized by a Mumbai-based organization called Arpan. Our work on the issue of Child Rights and Child Sexual Abuse led us to support the collective initiative by observing Child Safety Week from November 14th to November 20th 2021 to highlight the importance of the issue through various discussions and events.
To kick off the Child Safety Week, we posted reels on our Instagram and Facebook pages because we felt that this was one of our innovative approaches of the week and it was done for the first time within our organization. Throughout the entire series, parents and adults were encouraged to teach children how to participate in their own protection and how to care for their bodies. The reels are dedicated to all adults in order to highlight child safety and encourage everyone to speak to their children about personal safety now.
We organized a webinar on understanding Child Rights and Child Sexual Abuse as part of Child Safety Week, in order to increase awareness of the issue and empower people to begin taking action for the safety of children. We had participants from universities such as Assam Don Bosco and Martin Luther Christian University as well as Inside North East organisation and other interested individuals.
Our intern students from Martin Luther Christian University distributed posters in five Urban Schools in Shillong to raise awareness about Child Sexual Abuse during Child Safety Week. Shalyntem youth fellows have also made door-to-door visits and distributed pamphlets throughout our communities.
Our Children Our Seeds is a new YouTube series we have launched as part of the week. The series is all about children safety and we had speakers such as indigenous leaders from across the globe speak about child safety. We also observed World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse, and one of our sisters emphasized the importance of laying strong foundations so that our children may live in a safe and secure environment.
In response to the petition, 21 of our young girls from rural communities and urban schools wrote thoughtful and meaningful letters to Mr. Conrad Sangma, Honourable Chief Minister of Meghalaya to implement Personal Safety Education Programs in all schools in Meghalaya. Our Director, Ms Shannon Dona Massar, shared a video in support of our petition with the Chief Minister.