LEADS conducted an important awareness program in Colombo girls’ school on Child Protection.
A team from ESCAPE - the child protection wing of LEADS conducted a series of sessions for students of Methodist College, Colombo on 6th April 2016. Children ranging from ages 6-18 years participated for this program.
An age appropriate Child Protection message conveyed through a story of mice who escaped danger, was narrated to the children of the primary section. This was done in all three languages: Sinhala, Tamil and English. The purpose of the message was to teach children means of protecting themselves from danger. Intriguing questions raised by the children at the end of the session indicated how well the message of protection had reached them.
In addition to child protection, some issues of privacy and puberty as well as the changes and challenges associated with puberty was addressed among middle school children. For older students in the upper school, presentations were carried out by our Psychologists, Legal officer and a volunteer medical practitioner. These presentations addressed serious issues faced by adolescents - such as peer pressure and questions regarding reproductive health.
A flood of questions after these presentations indicated to us the importance and relevance of the topic among youngsters. Obviously the students had many unanswered questions which they were keeping to themselves. The programme also managed dissipate the stigma surrounding conversations among children on reproductive health and challenges faced during adolescence.
Copies of LEADS publication, ‘Staying Safe’ with more information on child protection was given to the school to be distributed among the students.
In the following week school children from Methodist College, Colombo made a collection amounting to rupees 57,000 in support of LEADS children’s respite home.