One of many consequences of Covid-19 in Chad is increased exposure of kids and youth to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Even though SGBV has already been a problem before the pandemic, there is a tendency that Covid-19 exacerbates SGBV. Due to closed schools and universities, youth and children stay at home where they can also be exposed to domestic violence. Early and forced marriages are also common in the communities of Chad.
The Life Skills and peer education Project in N’Djamena tackles this problem advocating for the enforcement of laws against sexual and gender-based violence in two districts of N'Djamena. It was found that these phenomena are experienced in these communities, but not reported. Some of the identified obstacles to the reporting of SGBV are the lack of knowledge of the law and shame and fear of stigmatization of victims, survivors and their families. Advocacy helped popularize the law about SGBV and fostered exchange between mayors, judges, other local leaders, parents and youth on these issues. The two mayors of the communes made a commitment to ensure that the laws about SGBV are being respected in their districts. The communities and local leaders committed themselves to reducing amicable settlements that are detrimental to victims and survivors.
Another important part in fighting SGBV is the set up of help structures for SGBV-victims in schools and universities. They set up SGBV-Clubs, where victims can talk about their experiences with peers, similar to Self Help Groups. Further they set up mechanisms to help survivors and victims who want to report SGBV. Blue Cross Chad established such structures in 16 high schools and 3 universities. 44 young people, including 28 boys and 16 girls, have been trained to increase their knowledge on the different types of SGBV, their role, the functioning of SGBV-clubs and the reporting and the support mechanism. They left confident and ready to put into practice the knowledge and skills acquired to help reduce SGBV in our schools and universities.
To contine the fight against sexual and gender-based violence in Chad, we need your support. We warmly thank you for everything you give!
As schools in Chad remained closed after March 23, Blue Cross Chad with their peer educators and Life Skills Clubs have continuedvirtual life skillssessions via WhatsApp groups and Facebook. Additionally, three partnerships with local radio stations were signed, so that the project staff and peer educators could conductregular radio emissionsin order to spread life skills messages such as stress resistance, peaceful resolution of conflicts, Gender based Violence prevention and myth busters regarding fake news about the COVID-19 situation (“Drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous”). The peer educators have also registered various songs and slogans on these topics which were broadcasted on the radios.
The Blue Cross Chad project staff, in collaboration with local politicians, community members and peer educators, conducteddoor-to-door COVID-19 sensitization campaigns, underlining the importance of respecting the prevention measures. These door-to-door campaigns happened in three vulnerable neighborhoods of N’Djamena and overall over 1000 households were individually reached and sensitized. The initiative of Blue Cross Chad to mobilize local authorities and populations in the COVID response inspired and was followed by many other non-profit organizations.
Luckily some project activities, especially training activities, could still be carried out despite COVID-19 although with smaller participant numbers, in order to respect the national COVID guidelines. Further, IBC has also started a new Webinar series with its project countries on topics such as good governance, alcohol and drug harm, and gender equality. It has been a good opportunity to continue the process of mutual exchange and learning.
Supporting the Chadian Youth is only possible by generous donors as you – Thank you so much for your contribution!
The coronavirus has turned the world upside down and changed all our lives. The economy is stumbling, existential crises are taking place, health care systems and labour markets have reached their limits in many places. Now it is time to "move together" - although symbolically and more virtually than in real life.
At International Blue Cross, we too are trying to adapt as best we can to the demands of the pandemic. In our African project countries the schools will remain closed for the time being and social isolation measures have been taken. In order to be there for the young people nevertheless, we coach the local staff in how they can continue to look after the participants as efficiently as possible and implement alternative offers.
In Chad, online life skills sessions, whatsapp chats and awareness campaigns on the internet continue to implement the programmes as best they can. A telephone hotline is being set up through which the Blue Cross educators will provide targeted support to young people in dealing with the isolation and problems it brings with it.
Alcohol and domestic violence are problems that should not be underestimated in this context. In isolation, families consume more alcohol, which often leads to social tensions, up to acts of violence and generally irresponsible behaviour regarding the rules of "social distancing". Psychological problems occur or increase in isolation. Blue Cross educators can intervene to regulate and provide care - therefore the continuation of our program is important! Particularly in poorer countries with poor health systems and social security structures, people are more dependent on our support than ever before.
Thank you for your support to vulnerable people in countries severely affected by the health crisis. Thank you very much!
The year 2020 began for the Blue Cross Chad with many exciting events:
In January, secondary school teachers were trained. They were encouraged to take up the integration of life skills in some of the school lessons. Such topics are: Prevention of alcoholism, smoking, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, AIDS, violence and gender-based violence.
In mid-January a press conference was held for the government on the subject of "Alcohol and Sustainable Development". 12 of 17 Sustainable Development Goals are negatively affected by alcohol. For this reason, discussions were held, for example, about increasing the price of alcoholic beverages.
In February, 96 peer educators, leaders of Life Skills Club at high schools and university campuses were given training. The focus was on writing activity reports, bookkeeping for the clubs and budget monitoring.
Exciting events are also planned for the next quarter. With your donations you help to change young people and their environment. Thank you very much for your generosity!
The end of the year is marked by exciting events of the Blue Cross Chad:
On December 1, activities were organized on the occasion of the International AIDS Day. Peer educators marched in the streets to talk about AIDS and HIV and distribute information. They all received a matching T-shirt and summer hats.
A new office was set up for the activities in the school Amoul de farcha in N'Djamena. This is decorated with drawings and comics, so that the students already have the topics in front of them in a visual way.
From 10 to 11 December, the old and new members of the local committee for social responsibility were trained. Topics were good governance, complaint mechanisms and participation tools.
The Life Skills Programmes and the long experience in Chad were presented to the governments of the Faroe Islands that regularly donate grants. For this purpose, the General Secretary and a project manager from Chad travelled to the Danish islands.
Now, a new year is just around the corner. Also, in 2020 the Life Skills sessions will continue in the schools in Chad. Every year more and more young people take part in the activities. Events, camps and promotions are planned to give young people skills and knowledge to make informed decisions about alcohol and drugs and associated risks, including the transmission of HIV/AIDS.
With your donation these activities can be realized! Thanks a lot!
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