©AfreePress-(Lomé, November 1, 2023)- Compassion International is intensifying its actions for child protection in Togo. This NGO, which takes care of more than 78,000 children in Togo, has just set up a project called “Promotion of Positive Discipline and Responsible Parenting” aimed at contributing to the eradication of practices harmful to the development and lives of children in Togolese communities.
The pilot phase of this intervention was launched on Tuesday, October 31, 2023 in Notsè, Haho prefecture (95 km north of Lomé) for the benefit of Haho South Cluster, which brings together 14 Child and Youth Development Centers (CDEJ).
According to the leadership of Compassion International Togo, the implementation of this project follows a survey conducted in October 2020 in the communities of southern Haho.
“This survey reveals that the majority of parents practice negative discipline to correct their children. By negative discipline, we mean, among others, physical and corporal punishment, bullying, verbal violence and insulting and/or degrading remarks, emotional violence, neglect, deprivation of food…”, said Dr. Jacques Toko, manager of program support at Compassion International Togo and representative of the National Director of the NGO.
Negative discipline practices, justified by arguments and myths used by parents, have harmful consequences on the lives of the child and young person, according to the NGO. In addition to the emotional, physical, cognitive and spiritual consequences, children subjected to these forms of negative discipline can themselves turn to violence in adulthood, perpetuating the vicious cycle of domestic violence.
“This intervention that we are launching today is not intended to prohibit parents from playing their role as educators by disciplining their children. Discipline keeps the child away from madness, to paraphrase the Bible. But there are positive forms of discipline that have an educational character without being degrading for the child who is subjected to it,” recalled the representative of the National Director of Compassion International Togo.
This intervention is intended not only as an approach to constructive solutions for the well-being of the child, but also as a way to allow parents and education providers to connect with the child, cooperate with the child and understand his or her feelings before moving on to a correction process.
The pilot phase launched will enable 2,995 parents in southern Haho to acquire positive discipline and responsible parenting for the healthy development of children and youth, through awareness-raising sessions based on videos available in French and several local languages.
Committed to the promotion and protection of children’s rights, Compassion International is convinced that a child treated with respect and dignity will become a responsible adult tomorrow.
This initiative of Compassion International is welcomed and welcomed by the authorities and actors committed to protection in the prefecture.
“We commend Compassion International Togo for its actions in favor of the holistic development of children. This is evident in its willingness and determination to fight against violence against children in all its forms,” said Kakadji Dopo, Prefectural Director of Social Action.
In officially launching this project, the Secretary General of the Prefecture of Haho, ASSILA Komlan Koumedjina, welcomed the choice made on his territory and reassured of the willingness of the representative of the central government to support the actions undertaken. He also invited traditional leaders and all stakeholders involved to mobilize for the success of this intervention.
It should be noted that article 376 of the 2007 Children’s Code stipulates that corporal punishment and other forms of violence or abuse are prohibited in schools, vocational training centres and institutions. The Code includes penalties for violence against children, including violence by parents within families and communities.