In efforts to support parents and keep children safe during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and Proof Africa joined forces with a group of organisations including Oxford University, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Global Partnership to End Violence, the World Health Organisation, Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and World Without Orphans, to disseminate parenting resources to families across Africa.
The resources consisted of a suite of materials based on the principles for positive parenting in the evidence-based PLH programmes. The materials are intended to help parents alleviate stress, prevent violence against children, promote positive parent-child relationships, stay safe, discuss finances with their children and understand COVID-19. They aim to help parents build strong positive relationships with their children. The intention is for these materials to contribute towards preventing violence in our homes.
The materials reached more than 200 organisations in Africa - including government departments, private companies, NGOs and civil society organisations, health and parenting blogs, and faith-based institutions - and impacting the lives of more than 300,000 families.
Here are some of the organisations and networks who have accessed and used the materials:
The Citizen Justice Network - a network of journalists and paralegal officers - found the materials useful in training 18 paralegals to speak about the information on 18 community radio stations in South Africa.
A long-time resident in Alexandra township, Johannesburg, shared the materials with his Early Childhood Development (ECD), old age and youth centres, reaching more than 2,000 parents, caregivers, young children and teenagers. He also shared the materials with more than 50 taxi drivers and passengers around Alexandra, and in food parcels, reaching more than 600 people.
A Christian Social Services Council providing social and welfare services to communities in the Eastern Cape said they received positive feedback from parents who they shared the materials with. “The parents found the resources constructive, as a result they started to understand the balance of where to place boundaries, where to encourage and where to discourage behaviour,” said one of the Council’s members. "Most of the parents we work with did not know how to protect their children during the pandemic, and this created a huge void between them and their children. With the materials, they have learned how to maintain relationships with their children and how to use their authority in a way that will not be harmful."
The office of the First Lady of Namibia shared the materials with 1,540 frontline care workers, including church leaders and 233 life skills teachers in 14 schools. The materials were also used to train 130 female prison inmates to implement when they are released.
A Zimbabwean organisation, Chiedza Child Care Centre, shared the materials on a WhatsApp group consisting of more than 60 case workers, and will continue to share the materials with 15 clinics in the rural and six in urban areas – in two districts where they operate.
Several networks have shared the materials with organisations that work on parenting, gender and family issues, including Shukumisa in South Africa, a coalition of 70 Non-Governmental Organisations and Family for every child, a global network of 40 civil society organisations located in 36 different countries.
To learn more about the COVID-19 Parenting initiative, or to get involved in sharing these materials with families, check out the website and/or contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
The VPF shares updates from the work of all participants in the network. Read these here.
13 September 2021
Mikhulu Trust shortlisted for education innovation award – The LEGO Foundation recently partnered with HundrED to identify the most impactful and scalable education innovations globally which foster socio-emotional learning skills in children aged 5-12. Mikhulu Trust – a participant in the VPF and member of the South African Parenting Programme Implementer’s Network – created a dialogic book-sharing programme that was designed and tested in South Africa. This programme is one of 31 programmes shortlisted for the award. In the next stage, all shortlisted innovations will be reviewed for impact and scalability by an advisory board made up of over 75 international experts in education (including teachers, leaders, researchers, etc.). The process will be concluded with the final selection published in November 2021. Read more about the Mikhulu Trust and the dialogic book-sharing programme here..
The VPF network offers a number of funding, training and event opportunities. Find out more here.
VPF Facilitation Course 2021
The Institute for Security Studies, Reos partners and Leadership Pathways have teamed-up to offer a second facilitation course in 2021. The course will train and support a strong cohort of facilitators who are able to bring systems and process thinking into their work environments, in the belief that creative, courageous, empathetic leaders and facilitators are more necessary than ever before, in all sectors. Whether you are working in an NGO, an international organisation, a government department, a company, or a research and teaching institution, the knowledge and ability to design participatory processes and facilitate with authenticity, confidence and courage, will increase your impact and lead to stronger, more productive engagements. Applications close on 30 May 2021. For more information, click here.