beyond the classroom 2020-06-30آ  beyond the classroom practicing child protection beyond...

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  • It’s true that once all these needs are met, only then can a child truly grow, learn and develop to their fullest potential. To ensure this, ASPs must continuously consider,

    1. the contexts and environments children come from, 2. the qualifications of people hired to facilitate/coach/ tutor

    learners, including a screening of anyone who comes into contact with the children,

    3. the content and way programmes are designed, as well as, 4. the methods used to engage learners of different ages,

    gender, sex, and race.

    Train all staff and practitioners in existing and updated or revised policies. Hold annual trainings where staff sign a register or document confirming that they understand the contexts and consequences. Ensure that HR Policies with a Code of Conduct are aligned with the Child Protection Policy.

    In this way, the whole organisational team can be accountable for ensuring that the rights and safety of children in their programmes are a priority and well attended to. For information on the Children’s Act, Safety Solutions in ASPs, and other relevant guidelines and policies, visit our website.

    No more than a month since, the ManCo has led 4 distinct work streams – collaborating with After School partners – to ensure that support efforts are delivered successfully, these are:

    1. COVID-19 disaster relief (including food and hygiene)

    2. Learner Resources (academic and extra- curricular content)

    3. Resource guides for parents/guardians 4. Support for frontline staff (coaches,

    practitioners, etc.)

    While these efforts developed in the Western Cape, the work by the Learner Resources Stream reached the interest of communities from other active provinces, namely the Eastern Cape and Gauteng.

    The stream recognised that many educational initiatives offer formal curriculum-aligned resources largely suited to higher grades (FET phase of high school) and are particularly targeted at families who have access to internet and smart-phone devices.

    After creating an online Treasure Box of extra-curricular content to engage learners at home, the Stream has begun to curate and package these resources into physical/hard-copy activity packs that will be distributed by multiple organisations to children who have limited access to online resources.

    If your organisation serves a large group of learners and is interested in distributing these activity booklets,

    visit this page to add your information.

    BEYOND THE CLASSROOM

    Practicing Child Protection beyond providing safe spaces After School programmes (ASPs) offer learners opportunities to learn, explore, create, and challenge themselves physically, mentally and psycho-socially. These programmes also play the role of filling in the time-gap between the classroom and home, under the guidance of ASP practitioners. With this weight of responsibility, are ASP practitioners cognisant and intentional about creating safe spaces for the children/learners in their programmes?

    This past quarter, our provincial seminars sought to explore this topic. A majority of the children in our programmes come from communities affected by violence,substance abuse and trauma. For this reason, a large part of creating conducive learning environments can simply mean ensuring that the physical space of our programmes is secure from external threats or disturbances.

    The seminars, however, allowed us to look beyond physical safety, and recognise that child safety extends to,

    Meeting basic needs (food, water, shelter, physical health) Psychological well-being (mental and emotional health) Spiritual well-being (sense of belonging and community support)

    These considerations are often guided by values of sensitivity, compassion and socio-cultural awareness, which should reflect in the policies developed by an organisation. Whilst organisations acknowledge that documents like the Child Protection Policy and Children’s Act exist and should be active guides of reference for staff and practitioners, their usage is often limited or misunderstood. In this regard, it is important for organisations to,

    Online Child Safety Considerations In the time of COVID-19, a number of organisations in the After School sector have transitioned to continue programmes through online platforms. As practitioners who have direct contact with children outside of their parents and teachers, it becomes even more important to ensure children remain safe and protected. Here are important considerations to take when using online platforms to engage with children in your programmes:

    Practitioners must be well-equipped for the online platform they work on, including an understanding of navigation features, privacy & security settings, and limitations. Parents/guardians must consent (either digitally or telephonically) to their kids working online. Parents/guardians must be aware of their kids’ online activity, including organisation details, facilitator contact, session times and content topics. Online sessions should only be with a group of learners (no one-on-one contact with tutors) and monitored by a staff member (beyond tutor/volunteer). Learners must be aware of the communication channels should they feel bullied or violated on the online platforms. Learners who are consistently disengaged online should be followed-up through contact with their parents/guardians.

    Expanding the value and reach of After School in the times of COVID-19

    There is no greater time to show the value of the After School sector than now. This was the sentiment shared by non-profit organisations during an After School Programme Management Committee (ManCo) meeting that sat to discuss the sector’s response to support parents, practitioners, and learners during lockdown.

    As our government works to flatten the curve through lockdown, social distancing measures, and mobility restrictions, the uncertainty around the normal continuation of schooling remains. Additionally, plans to stagger the phases in which learners return to school may limit the physical running of some After School programmes due to safety regulations.

    While the school system will be heavily burdened and strained for the rest of this year, it is vital that we – as a sector – think more creatively about the way we work, and strategically about the future and increased value of

    our work. There is no better time to advocate for the necessity of After School programmes than now. #AfterSchoolWorks!

    https://www.thelearningtrust.org/acts-policies https://www.thelearningtrust.org/treasure-box-welcome https://forms.gle/zcxX8A85t51dEBoYA https://www.facebook.com/thelearningtrust

  • COVID-19 has affected every aspect of life around the globe, from civil society to institutional operations and international economies. The interconnectedness—and vulnerabilities—of the complex systems that make the modern world run have never been more apparent. Working in the developmental space means that we often look to donors and philanthropic foundations to continually ensure that marginalised communities are well-supported, more especially in times of crisis.

    In response, our grantee, the Boost Africa Foundation designed an affordable emergency food system to feed families in vulnerable communities. They started distributing food parcels that feed the average family for a month. By raising funds online, the organisation has reached their initial target of feeding 1,000 families. To date, Boost Africa has distributed a total of 2146 food parcels to the communities of Cape Town. They plan to distribute many more food parcels as their funding allows.

    This joint effort by Masifunde Learner Development, Masinyusane Develop- ment and United Through Sport, developed as a response to the effects of COVID-19 on children and youth in communities without access to online learning resources.

    The channel covers content that ranges from music, drawing and drama to

    literacy and sports. QuaranTV is produced for children in communities that

    have no internet access during the lockdown.

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    Local donors respond pragmatically to COVID-19 crisis

    In response to the pandemic, a number of local donors have mobilised efforts to support government and civil society. These efforts range from providing emergency relief funds, extended capacity support, and online

    educational resources.

    NASCEE & JET Education Services joined forces to conduct a Research Bootcamp to study the educational experiences of families at home during the lockdown. The result of such findings is paramount to the enhance home-learning during and post COVID-19. As a leader in philanthropy, IPASA also extends support by sharing recent news around local and international grants during this time. Members of the association drafted a collection of guidelines for donors to consider in their grant-making during the pandemic. Other donors, including DGMT and Laureus Sports for Good, SA, are providing digital resources that practitioners, parents and learners can use to keep active, engaged and learning at home.

    A number of donors have also shifted focus by redirecting funds towards projects that address the pandemic. The National Lotteries Commission (NLC) & HCI Foundation are mobilising emergency relief funds towards non- profits that stand to improve the lives of those who are most vulnerable to COVID – 19. HCI has partnered with the Lunchbox Fund whose mission is to ‘transform a child’s education one meal at a time’. This is a partnership that seeks to support a diverse range of families and beneficiary organisations with food packages. The applica