Our focus, not only South Africa, but Africa as a continent over the past 6 months has been one of crisis and immediacy: concerns over food packages, shelter, gender-based violence and protests have flooded social media. What has happened to our children?
The reality is that in many cases we have forgotten them in the pursuit of headlines, greed, and continued lack of accountability.
We need to be asking. What is happening on the ground? Not just in our urban areas, but the rural areas as well. Who are protecting our children? What safety nets and care are they being given?
On the 7th and 8th October 2020, The Africa Child Trauma Conference will be hosted VIRTUALLY by JELLY BEANZ in partnership with UNICEF, ECPAT and THE TEDDY BEAR FOUNDATION where they will bring together and enable these absolutely vital conversations to happen, whilst providing a space for the assessment and demonstration of tangible, innovative and pioneering methods to promote child protection within the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
This conference will showcase scalable child protection advances relevant to Africa specifically and allow for the formulation of real action and accountable plans to be devised and implemented across Africa.
We call on all African Governments and civil society organisations working in the Child Protection space to participate in these virtual conversations and to take ownership thereafter of the agreed upon actions and accountability
The conference programme and overall outcome will be to have an Emergency Action Plan for Child Protection developed by conference participants with a renewed commitment to the ‘Charter: Leave No Child Behind’ and its commitments through:. Increased understanding and knowledge of the impacts on children’s rights and wellbeing that have resulted from the COVID-19 Pandemic, specifically the traumas and deprivation on multiple levels,
Identifying tangible, home-grown resources and scalable solutions to urgently protect Africa’s vulnerable children that align with the ‘best interest of the child’ and the ‘do no harm’ principles as per the ‘African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child’ which is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year,
Constructing and urgently mobilising capacity at the micro, meso and macro levels (i.e. individual, family, community, and society) through the sharing of practical, implementable, and scalable tools and mechanisms.
Now is the time to act on behalf of all children, to stand together to protect, care, and help our vulnerable children who continue to be traumatised across Africa.