Protection and sustainable livelihoods

REPSSI promotes psychosocial support towards strengthening national and community social protection systems.  This will help prevent and respond to violence against children and women, sexual gender-based violence and provide intervention for children who are in conflict with the law.  Our programmes prevent and respond to gender-based-violence (GBV), by tackling its drivers, social norm change and women empowerment interventions.

Programmes

Preventing gender-based violence

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Ending child marriages

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Preventing gender-based violence (GBV)

The REPSSI project on reducing gender-based violence is based on the learnings from previous projects in Malawi and South Africa.  This programme is being implemented in Eswatini and South Africa with funding from Sweden and additional funding from First for Women Foundation in South Africa.  The components of the project are:

  • Train teachers and work with schools to improve the school’s psychosocial environment, including policies and strategies to reduce all forms of violence within the schools
  • Train and support partners to implement REPSSI Empower Girls and Peace is a Decision with groups of girls and boys in school with a focus on building psychosocial skills
  • Conduct conversations using Making our Community Safer tools with community, traditional, religious and elected leaders as well as caregivers to build community resilience; address gender norms and attitudes to violence
  • National advocacy, to build national dialogue on attitudes towards violence, gender norms and safe communities, in collaboration with the media.

Other GBV-related activities:

  • REPSSI is collaborating with Kenya Orphan Rural Development Project (KORDP) in Busia, Webuye and Kakamega in Western Kenya and Kibera Community Self-Help Programme (KICOSHEP) in Nairobi. KICOSHEP focused on building psychosocial skills in children’s clubs in the schools they work with drivers of GBV, social norm change and women empowerment interventions.
  • Through the engagement with the Population Council, REPSSI participated in a 3-day Ministry of Health Task Force Meeting on Psychosocial Support (PSS) to develop a response to child sexual gender based violence (SGBV) as part of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for children screened positive for SGBV. REPSSI delivered an abridged training of trainers’ session on the Tree of Life model to the Task Force.  REPSSI will maintain regular communication with the Population Council project staff in Nairobi.
  • REPSSI has taken part in the prevention of Sgender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa, including evaluation of the implementation of the Say No! to Gender Based Violence intervention in selected Gauteng and Limpopo schools and a baseline report on Making Our Community Safer for Children in Orlando East, Soweto. REPSSI is partnering with the South African Human Rights Commission, June 16 Development Foundation, Afrika Tikkun, Save the Children and Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in Making Our Community Safer.
  • In Tanzania, REPSSI worked with UNFPA and the Ministry of Labour, Empowerment, Elders, Youth, Women and Children to develop psychosocial (PSS) guidelines in Zanzibar. The guidelines guide support of children and women affected by violence and abuse through one-stop centres. The Government of Zanzibar is addressing gender-based violence (GBV) and child marriage and they have put in place laws and policies to protect women and children. They emphasize PSS provision to both the abused and abusers to facilitate healing and reduce retaliation. Zanzibar has approved the school re-entry policy for girls who get pregnant at school.
  • Further, REPSSI is partnering with Pastoral Activities & Services for People with HIV &AIDS Dar es Salaam Archdiocese (PASADA ) to address child marriage in the Coast region. REPSSI oriented twenty members of the community protection committee on psychosocial support basics. REPSSI and PASADA are working with the local government in the campaign against child marriage and address GBV.

REPSSI participated in the regional coalition meeting to expand attention to children exposed to violence, and participates in the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.

Ending child marriage

REPSSI is implementing a project to End Child Marriage in Lesotho and Tanzania by:

  • Training and supporting teachers to improve the psychosocial environment of their schools
  • Establishing clubs for girls and boys that will discourage child marriage, enhance psychosocial skills and encourage girls and boys to stay in school
  • Identifying suitable children and youth to advocate against child marriage
  • Partnering with local authorities, organizations, faith-based leaders and traditional leaders to hold community conversations with parents and community leaders to End Child Marriage
  • Agreeing on local policies against child marriage and to curb practices which encourage child marriage
  • National advocacy on ending child marriage and keeping children in school.

Regionally REPSSI and RIATT ESA are engaging with the AU campaign to end child marriage.

Globally, REPSSI is a member of the Girls not Brides movement.

REPSSI Zambia continued collaboration with Chieftainess Kawaza in the Eastern Province.  In 2019, we focused on capacity building of village committees, including in the Minimum Package of Services, use of PSS resources and a learning visit on the operation of village taskforces.  Village committees of traditional counsellors were established to provide counsel and support to young people (male and female).

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