A Workshop on Child Protection Policy was conducted at the Provincial House, Dum Dum from 29 – 30 September 2015. There were 39 participants. The resource persons for these days were Rev. Father Joe Xavier sj and Sr. Isabella Alphonse FMA of the Chennai province. At the inception we were led to a prayer moment followed by felicitations and a warm welcome to Sr. Isabella and Fr. Joe Xavier. Provincial Sr. Rose Ezarath in her keynote address exhorted us live our commitment to the full with a passionate love for the young after the heart of St. Don Bosco so that our mission may be truly fruitful. With a brief brain storming by Fr. Joe, we were made to realise what are child abuses, by whom they were created and the challenges we may encounter to face them so that we could acknowledge them, be aware and how they could be protected.
The baton was then passed to Sr. Isabella who proceeded with the Purpose of the Workshop enabling us understand the FMA-INDIA Child Protection Policy, the Content, Process and the Final Document which was a journey to be viewed globally and nationally with the situation of the Children and the young.
Fr. Joe in his next main session explained in detail: The FMA Child Protection Policy with its Preamble, Guiding Principles, Objectives, General Guidelines for Child friendly Organisational Governance and Complaint Mechanism. He said it is very important to know the Structure of the Complaint mechanism, the role and function of the Child Protection Officer, of Child Protection Committee, the Animator, of the Local Enquiry Committee, Province Enquiry Commission, of the Provincial and the Procedures to be followed in all cases of complaints.
Our next Session led us to group work to take up a mock Session of a child abuse situation and follow the right procedures to be adopted for its protection of the child. We observed the first group’s presentation after which there were interventions from the assembly to share some gaps in the proceedings. It was a great help as Fr. Joe guided us on the right way to go about this case. The second day’s program led us to yet another very important aspect of this workshop ie the Activity Planning Matrix, viewing the overall goal, the objectives, Indicators and the Person/Persons responsible for the activity and the Monitoring. A Core group took care of compiling and synthesising the group work that eventually would be carried out in regard to Child Protection Policy in the Kolkata Province.
Ultimately, we expressed our sincere gratitude to Fr. Joe Xavier and Sr. Isabella for enlightening us on this most needed policy of the day, for their generosity and availability in appropriating this issue in depth to the understanding of each of us. We also extended our grateful thanks to Sr. Rose Ezarath our provincial for extending this golden opportunity for us and helping us get enriched and fortified with the very words of Jesus : “Let the children come unto me for unto them belongs the Kingdom of God.”
Sr. Geraldine Barratt