A group of six child rights organizations under their umbrella consortium, Joining Forces, has established a social, behavioral change campaign in order to reduce physical violence against children.
In this campaign, they took support from the European Union (EU). This is a nine-month-long campaign in which their main target is parents and guardians, helping them to adopt non-violent parenthood methods.
Right now, physical violence among children is a very common form that is experienced by most of the children in Uganda.
Not only a common form, but also reported forms of violence, and for example, last year in 2021, it created 27% of all cases reported to the Uganda Child Helpline.
The reports of Joining Forces in 2021 revealed that nearly 66 percent of children polled noted an increase in physical or emotional violence from their guardians in the month leading up to December 2020.
The new campaign which is launched by ‘Joining Forces’ will surely help to reduce this violence.
“These statistics should concern us all and encourage us to work together to put an end to this type of violence.” They also show an overwhelming need to provide practical support to parents and caregivers in order for them to provide nurturing care and help to children.
According to Dragana Strinic, the Director of Save the Children, this encourages the creation of the Hands4Good campaign.
With the use of this tagline, “Hands4Good”, the campaign calls on all parents and guardians to use their hands to promote, support, and guide children rather than using them for violence.
Their main focus would be on six districts in which Gulu, Obongi, Kampala, Wakiso, Busia and Bugiri includes. The campaign will collaborate with non-violent parenting advocates in the community.
The champions will work with their communities to end physical violence, identify children at risk of physical violence, and ensure that these children have access to the services they require.
The campaign will also raise awareness of parenting without violence methods, which will help parents and guardians acquire a better understanding of child development and how to use positive discipline with their children.
As a result of this campaign, children will be able to succeed in safe and loving environments.
According to Strinic, if you went randomly and asked any adult of Uganda, almost all of them will surely say that they have faced one or more forms of physical violence in their childhood, and the sad reality is because parents think that this is the only way to teach discipline to their children. We want to say that there is no explanation for violence against children. We can discipline our children without giving them pain. There are other various methods to teach discipline, and the other methods are non-violent, and it will also boost trust and a good relationship between parent and a child, instead of causing harm to them and to their self-confidence.
According to Strinic, the COVID-19 pandemic emphasised the need to support parents and guardians on positive parenting methods.
Strinic concluded, “I would like each of us to recognise that physical violence begins with us, with our hands.” The same hand that we use to hug, bless people, and build society should not be the same hand that causes pain, hurt, and harm to anyone, particularly children. I implore you to put your hands to good use.”