Community officials, frontline workers, religious leaders and other stakeholders of Kwakwani and its outlining communities in Upper-Berbice district, recently benefited from a series of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) sensitisation outreaches hosted by Blossom Inc.
In an interview with INFO 10, the Education Awareness Officer at Blossom Inc., Joses Solomon, stated that the initiative aimed at providing the residents with the resources that can be used to prevent and report CSA in the communities.
Communities that benefited from the outreach are Kwakwani, De Veldt, Sand Hills, Kimbia, Calcuni, Ebini, Hururu, Ladern’sville and Wairuni.
A total of 166 persons including community officials, frontline workers, religious leaders, toshaos, business persons and students, attended the series of outreaches hosted by Blossom Inc.
Solomon noted that the initiative was designed in a sustainable manner making way for community officials, frontline workers and religious leaders to be educated on the issue of CSA and to share the knowledge gained with the rest of the community using their own initiative.
“We are trying to empower the officials, frontline workers and leaders and give them resources and tools so that they can support themselves and the community through us being able to support them,” Solomon explained.
The Education Awareness Officer indicated that Blossom Inc. saw a need for such outreaches to be conducted due to the raising reports of CSA in Guyana especially in remote communities.
According to Solomon, assessments revealed that while many persons are aware of cases of CSA, in these communities, they are rarely making reports. With this in mind, persons were educated on how to make reports; the consequences of not reporting, especially for persons in positions of trust, and the penalties for committing these offences.
Solomon noted that the outreach strengthened working partnership between the communities’ welfare officer, police, and other stakeholders in the communities.
Regions that will benefit from such initiatives in the future are One, Seven and Eight.
Blossom Inc. is a children’s charity based in Guyana. The organisation was founded by Ayo Dalgety-Dean, a Family Therapist, in 2014 with the aim to support the child protection system in Guyana and to support children and families affected by trauma.
The organisation has seven branches which are located in Regions One, Two, Four, Seven and Ten. If you know of a child who is being abused, you are advised to contact the Child Care and Protection Agency’s hotline on telephone number 227-0979.