Our objective: Realising children's rights
Any interventions aimed at a long-term positive impact on children's lives must contribute to realising and safeguarding their rights. This is the focus of our work, both in Germany and abroad.Learn more
Zimbabwe: Sexual abuse, violence and neglect characterize the life of many children in Zimbabwe. More than one million orphans live in this southern African country. They are particularly vulnerable and often left to their own devices. Kindernothilfe is committed to changing this situation. Please support our work in Zimbabwe with a donation or sponsor a project.
Sarah was thirteen when her grandmother’s husband started abusing her. The girl is living with her grandparents because her own parents died of AIDS. She is afraid and does not know who to turn to. No one will listen to her. The police are busy and pay little attention to children. So she does not speak up even when her step-grandfather repeatedly abuses her.
Responsible for intervening in abuse cases such as Sarah’s, for punishing the perpetrators and taking caring of the victims, government agencies and social care facilities are hopelessly underfinanced, understaffed and overburdened. Funding for social workers, medical care, counselling or therapy in unavailable. All of this contributes to a high risk of severely traumatized children.
Childline provides a free hotline for children nationwide. As Childline Zimbabwe Director Tara Miller explains: “Children can contact us with their problems 365 days a year, 24 hours a day”. Volunteers look into the cases and take further steps if necessary. Another way to reach Childline is by mail. Children can send letters to Kindernothilfe partners free of charge. Volunteers make sure to look into all letters and cases.
Childline actively supports the Child Protection Committee in its work. Representatives from the police and educational and health authorities meet on a regular basis to discuss the question of abuse and to attempt to respond to the community needs. Furthermore, representatives from the police, schooling and health authorities, courts and local leaders are briefed on children’s rights and how to proceed in the event of abuse. The first fruits of these efforts can already be observed: a teacher heard about Sarah’s problems and contacted the Child Protection Committee. Sarah’s step-grandfather is now in prison.
Project No. 76401