Child helplines are at the forefront of child protection, giving children and young people a voice and providing them with care, support and protection. In order to ensure all children have access to such a vital resource, Child Helpline International supports child helplines across the globe by providing capacity building opportunities. In Gabon there is no such child helpline at present and children are denied access to basic help and protection.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Large numbers of children under 18 (90% female), predominantly from Benin, Mali, Togo & Central African Republic are attracted to Gabon as one of the wealthy economies in the region. Far from home, in a foreign country, trafficked children are vulnerable and alone, excluded from many services and forced into prostitution, domestic servitude, early marriage and child labour. Victims are invisible and unrecognised. Gabon currently lacks a child helpline which would help children's voices be heard.
How will this project solve this problem?
Child helplines are often the first point of contact for children, and enable them to be heard and to access protection services. According to the UN Special Representative on the Violence Against Children, Ms. Marta Santos Pais "Child helplines are core components of comprehensive, robust and integrated national child protection systems". The project will provide counselling training for the new Childline Gabon, and will support the organisation during the start-up phase.
Potential Long Term Impact
This project will equip the Gabonese with the knowledge and skills needed to set-up and run an effective child helpline, and raise awareness of the issue of child trafficking within their borders. A training programme will be delivered which will educate phone counselors on how to manage complex abuse situations,such as: how and when to intervene, counselling and referral of victims, along with developing awareness campaigns and prevention strategies.
Total Funding Received to Date: $170
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $4,830
Total Funding Goal: $5,000