Help fight child abuse in schools
The threat of abuse is very real for pupils in many Ugandan schools. You can help by getting your church to pray for BMS World Mission-led child protection work
Imagine a classroom with 100 or more primary age schoolchildren in it. Put aside how crammed it might be and concentrate on this: more than two thirds of the children in front of you have been sexually abused by a male teacher, according to a Unicef survey. The percentage of children who have been caned is even higher, yet their abusers get away with the abuse, free to inflict suffering on a child in a place every child should feel safe: school.
The survey on the prevalence of abuse in Ugandan schools shows that people are aware of the abuse – but it still continues.
Do not think it is going completely unchallenged though. Ugandan officials are making strides. And, with the help of BMS World Mission supporters, BMS lawyer Linda Darby is working tirelessly in Gulu, northern Uganda, to change attitudes towards child protection in schools.
Linda Darby’s mission to tackle abuse in schools begins with training future nursery teachers about child protection
Backed by local government, Linda has so far taken 21 schools through training on how abuse can be identified, reported and prevented. And the message of protecting children from sexual and physical abuse is not restricted to the school environment. Community leaders also attend the training, alongside the school’s senior staff – and ends with a school developing a child protection policy. With your prayers, we hope even more schools in Gulu will develop more effective child protection approaches.
“At first, people can be defensive, but as we explain the types of abuse, especially sexual, they realise it is happening and they are more open to listening,” says Linda. “This work is important because it is helping children thrive in school, and that will improve their circumstances in life.”
BMS is helping teachers and community leaders in Gulu, Uganda identify signs of child abuse.
The work Linda does in Uganda couldn’t happen without your prayer support. We encourage you and your church to please pray today for:
More local trainers to come forward to help Linda in her work. Pray for the right people, with the right skills, and with huge hearts to protect children from harm.
Energy, wisdom and strength for Linda in her work. Pray that she knows the encouragement of your prayers when she talks to schools about why child protection policies must be developed and put into practice.
The children who are being abused. Please pray for the abuse to stop, and that the children sense God’s love for them in their lives.
The adults who commit abuse. Pray that they understand the darkness of their actions and are guided towards a new life in which they never hurt a child again.
Through your prayers today, we believe that even more schools in Gulu will take child protection more seriously. We know it’s possible. You can play your part today in protecting children you will never meet. Please pray.
This story was originally published on the BMS World Mission website and is used with permission.