As most of us know by now, RN in collaboration with SMISO Tromso has been running an exchange program called HOPE, which is an acronym for Hope, Opportunity, Participation, Empowerment. Two participants from Zambia are sent to work at RN and two Zambian participants are sent to Norway.
The idea being to exchange knowledge on sexual abuse and incest between Norway and Zambia. Our two Norwegian participants, whom you may have already met via this blog and also social media, Preciosa Luras and Amy Andersen conduct lectures on sexual abuse and incest in selected schools around Livingstone. I recently accompanied them to Maramba Primary School where they had a meeting with senior teaching staff where they discussed their results, findings, and experiences while running the program in the school.
The key areas they aimed to target are awareness and prevention. When it comes to awareness, the aim was to find out how conversant the students are in issues of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and incest and prevention looked at among other things, whether or not the school had an obvious reporting system for these types of cases.
GBV, incest and related issues are very important and schools and communities need to work hand in hand in conjunction with organizations, not just RN, but organizations in general to spread awareness and develop systems and processes that will help protect our children and safeguard them in all ways. This task will not be an easy one, but as Amy said, we never stop learning, and learning new ways and improving upon existing systems and relationships will go a long way in curbing this scourge. For more on the HOPE program, follow HOPE on Facebook:
HOPE- Hope, Opportunity, Participation and Empowerment and Instagram: