After 3 days of discussion on the new techniques and styles for listening to and supporting child victims of rights violation, the training for childcare centre administrators ended this Thursday, June 30, 2022, in Bissau, Guinea Bissau. Among other recommendations that came out of the regional capacity building workshop was the participants wish for the establishment of a continuous training framework for them, and the creation of a permanent forum for discussion. It was a workshop was organised by the ECOWAS Commission, through its Gender Development Centre (EGDC), in partnership with the West Africa Regional Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR-WARO).
Alongside experience sharing and training on listening to and psychosocial and legal support for children in childcare centres, facilitated by Prof Serigne Mor Mbaye, an international expert in clinical psychology and Director of CEGID (Centre de Guidance Infantile Familiale), participants also fielded a visit on the evening of Wednesday, June 29. The visit to the facilities and living environment of the children of the Bissau AMIC centre was an opportunity for the participants to engage in practical field exercises.
A closing ceremony marked the end of the regional workshop. Speaking in turn, the speakers expressed their satisfaction following the three-day meeting. Mr Léonie Gomez, President of the National Children's Parliament of Guinea Bissau, thanked the partners for all that is being done to protect the rights of children in West Africa.
After having thanked the Guinea Bissau authorities and the partners on behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Awudu Ahmed GUMAH, Acting Director of the EGDC and speaking on behalf of Commissioner Siga Fatima JAGNE in charge of the Social Affairs and Gender Department of ECOWAS, recognized the relevance and scope of the themes developed by Prof Serigne Mor Mbaye. He further expressed the hope that the training would be replicated on the field for other actors involved in the management of childcare centres.
In turn, Mrs Aminata KEBE, Human Rights Specialist at OHCHR and Regional Coordinator of PAPEV, speaking on behalf of Mr André ORI, Regional Representative of WARO-OHCHR, expressed satisfaction at the holding of the workshop. The workshop was one of the main recommendations of the High-Level Meeting of Ministers in charge of Child Protection which held in May 2022 in Banjul, The Gambia, to harmonise standards relating to cross-border mobility of children in West Africa.
Before closing the workshop on behalf of Guinea Bissau’s Minister of Women Affairs, Family and Social Solidarity, Mrs Florence CORREIA, Director of the Women and Children Institute, thanked ECOWAS and the OHCHR for organising a programme to enhance the knowledge and skills of childcare centre administrators. She also made a plea to the partners on two essential points: First, the need to increase funding for child welfare programs and second, for PAPEV to consider certain issues related to women.
Funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), the PAPEV project is implemented in partnership with the governments of the six beneficiary countries: The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, and Senegal.
The aim of the PAPEV project is to support the States in their respective efforts to promote and protect child rights through the implementation of recommendations of international and regional child rights protection mechanisms and the promotion of a safe and fair environment for child victims of rights violation by addressing their legal, judicial, and social needs.