ICDP progress in Mozambique

ICDP project: Strengthening protection for vulnerable populations and improving access to psychosocial support for displaced children in emergency settings

From the report by Santana Momade, the ICDP representative for Mozambique:

ICDP Mozambique in partnership with IOM has been working on a project in four districts of the Manica province: Mussurize, Gondola, Vanduzi and Barué. 

The project is addressing existing vulnerabilities and protection needs, with the aim to strengthen the resilience in high-risk areas. It is providing direct psychosocial support to affected children and communities. 

Building upon the positive experience from the previous project and focusing on building the capacities of the Community Child Protection Committees (CCPs), Local Committees for Disaster Risk Management (CLGRC) and to some extent District Reference Groups on Child Protection and Combating Human Trafficking (DRG), ICDP achieved the following results:

- Organized on 5 separate occasions  joint multidisciplinary training on Protection in Emergencies for several organizations in the districts Gondola, Vanduzi, Mussorizi and Báruè and another at Provincial level in Manica
- Trained 15 members of the risk management committee and their reference group
- Trained 114 officials from the districts of Gondola, Vanduzi, Mussorizi and Bárué
- Managers of resettlement and accommodation centres were sensitized in psychosocial care and support
- A protocol that includes training, follow-up, monitoring and evaluation, was established at central, provincial and local level.

- Regular meetings were held at district level to plan psychosocial support and to create a database of the trained staff and activists who constitute the local protection group.

- 179 community activists from 4 districts of Manica received training and will offer support to the community

- 13 open nucleus - Child Friendly Space (CFS) – were created to assist children in the community.

- The number of children involved in informal trade (on the streets) was significantly reduced.

- 179 officials, activists and reference group members in 4 districts were trained in psychosocial care and support activities in emergencies (Identification of the real emotional, psychosocial and affective needs of children, empathy, psychosocial and psycho affective recovery, rights of the child, identification of protective and risk factors, management of accommodation centers).

- ICDP held monthly follow up meetings for families to raise awareness about childcare, parenting skills, children's rights, gender, community risk and protection factors for the integrated development of children.

- 149 activists implement activities in the Child Friendly Spaces twice a week. Children are encouraged to play, tell stories, make drawings on card and cloth, play football and other collective games. As a result of the project children are better able to identify their communities in resettlement districts; they are able to identify potential hazardous places, and choose safe places and roads.

- 1,500 parents and community members in the 4 districts received sensitization in order to:
Practice positive interaction and recognize the real needs of children.
Become aware of the importance of play for children,  not only as a way of safeguarding their basic right, but also to help them recover from trauma;
Allow children to attend CFS;
Permanently withdraw children from informal commerce (on the streets);


COMMENTS FROM THE PROJECT:

A delegate from the ministry for social action from Manica province spoke about the importance of joint efforts by stakeholders of the reference group and also said that psychosocial support had brought added value to the interventions.  He said: "It will be necessary to cooperate with colleagues during emergencies to avoid re-traumatization or re-victimization. I think the service will be different thanks to the psychosocial tool".

"... When the trainer asked me when I last hugged my children, I felt a stirring in my feelings and thoughts because I could not remember – it was not my habit to hug. I grew up in a family that did not express feelings, where we did not bond. I feel that it is important to start developing the ability to express ourselves ... " - a Mussurizi district participant.

"... I want to request this training for the magistrates in my district attorney's section. I think it would greatly help humanize our interventions and decisions ... "- said the District Attorney.
"... It is a strong programme and I think it should continue, because for our change we need an activity like this continuously. I am speechless!

"... This training made me sad because I realized I made mistakes, but I am also happy because I was given the opportunity to improve my behaviour and interaction with children - I improved my relationship as a result.... " said a participant from the Vanduzi district.