Chisomo Children Club— a child rights non-governmental organisation—has urged child caregivers in the country to adopt a Star approach.
The club’s centre manager (Blantyre) Auspicious Ndamuwa said this at a four-day training they organised for 25 child caregivers in the city.
“A Star—which stands for Societies Tackling Aids through Rights—is a psycho-social approach which we recommend when dealing with children.
“This approach affords communities an opportunity to identify problems affecting children and their solutions. If children are not doing well in class, communities identify causes. That done, they task themselves to identify solutions,” said Ndamuwa.
Eunince Kalonga, a caregiver from Thandiwe Orphan Care Centre in Mbayan Township, Blantyre, said she learnt to advocate, respect and defend child rights.
“As caregivers, we are charged with the responsibility of child’s welfare and livelihood, including comfort, upbringing, guidance, provision of basic needs and realisation of human rights,” she said.
During the meeting, held with funding from Norwegian Church Aid, the caregivers discussed basic child rights such as the right to a name and identity, nationality, parental guidance, privacy, nutrition, good health and shelter.
Trainer Paul Duncan said Star is the best approach to identify and solve child right-related problems.
“With the advent of HIV and Aids, caregivers and communities should not only understand the rights of children affected by HIV or those living with the virus but also be ready to safeguard them,” he said.
The caregivers came from Blantyre townships of Mbayani, Ndirande, Bangwe and Pensulo. n