Protecting the most vulnerable
Our mission is based on the core values of love and respect. Together, we have the power to protect the most vulnerable and to restore human dignity. Reducing social tolerance toward sexual and gender based violence against women and children is critical to the success of our mission. Our initiatives support children who have experienced neglect, violence, exploitation, and physical and/or sexual abuse. We support the right of all children to survive and thrive, living up to their fullest potentials, especially children with disabilities. Our rehabilitation programs support their rights to health care, nutrition, education, social inclusion, and protection from neglect.
Sexual/Gender Based Violence Prevention
Violence against women and girls is a major public health problem and a violation of women’s human rights. More than one in three women worldwide (35%) have experienced intimate partner violence (either physical and/or sexual) or non-partner sexual violence during their lifetime (1).
Reducing social tolerance toward sexual and gender-based violence against women is critical to the success of our mission to seek dignity for all.
In 2015, we fought to stop domestic violence, physical assault, defilement, rape, and forced marriages. Strengthening capacity for response to gender-based violence survivors is key and involves the engagement of community chiefs, administrators, teachers, women’s group representatives, police, and church leaders. The establishment of a functional referral mechanism for response is critical to ending gender-based violence. With a responsive process in place, women and girls are able to come forward, to report abuse and violence, and to seek protection.
Empowering Vulnerable Women in Peru
In impoverished regions of Peru, women suffer discrimination because of their lack of education and poverty. CMMB is working to empower the most vulnerable women by providing them with training and tools so that they can become leaders and role models in their communities.
Restoring Dignity in South Sudan
Increased levels of awareness on SGBV issues among communities in South Sudan, encourages women and girls to come forward, to report abuse and violence, and to seek protection. Education makes communities aware of the interests of survivors, their rights, and the law. Coordination and partnership between stake holders ensures faster and better delivery of medical, psychosocial, safety, and security services for this extremely vulnerable group.
In 2015, nearly 30,000 adults and children were reached through various structured activities and awareness raising sessions on child protection and GBV in South Sudan. The awareness sessions focused on child abuse, child neglect, child labor, defilement, and GBV issues—especially domestic violence, rape, physical assault, forced marriage, early marriage, and denial of responsibilities and opportunities. To concretely support victims of GBV, CMMB trained social workers and counselors in SGBV case management and established six Gender Desks that provided victims with psychosocial support, referrals for medical care, and legal assistance as needed.
For communities to create and maintain a protective environment for children, various child protection actors must work together. Programs are strengthened through an approach that includes partnership and capacity building. Strengthening community based, child protective services takes training, mentorship, and supportive supervision, as well as cooperation between community-based child protection networks, health facilities, and relevant government entities. Psychosocial support, Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) management, child protection in emergency situations, strong referral systems, and specific training for child protection committees, all contribute to strong, sustainable programs.
In 2015, CMMB programs helped nearly 28,000 children with social services.
Empowering Families in Zambia
Just as it makes little sense to hospitalize individuals without first evaluating and treating their conditions, our approach to child protection does not assume that sending children to orphanages and similar institutions is the best way to serve the interests of vulnerable children. In Zambia, CMMB is working with government and social welfare agencies to strengthen child protection and welfare systems and to empower families to protect and nurture their children in supportive communities. The compassionate spirit underlying the project is embodied in its name: “Kusamala,” which means “to care for” in Nyanja, the language of eastern and central Zambia. In 2016, CMMB is committed to training nearly 300 health facility staff and neighborhood health committees to recognize and assess for child protection issues and Child Protection and Alternative Care methods. CMMB further aims to establish 99 family circles and 138 village savings and loan associations to support, strengthen, and empower families to provide a stable and nurturing environment for their children and to prevent child separation.
The daily reality of life for children with disabilities and their families is frequently one of discrimination and exclusion—in all countries of the world (2).
With commitment, dignity, and love, all children must be allowed to reach their God-given potential.
We find it unacceptable for any child to be treated differently because of an intellectual or physical impairment.
Program Highlight: Rehabilitation with Hope in Peru
In especially poor and remote communities such as Huancayo and Trujillo, children born with disabilities and their parents face multiple obstacles, including lack of education, negative attitudes and stigma, and services that are inadequate or nonexistent. Our approach addresses the right of these children to survive and thrive, living up to their full potential.
CMMB’s Rehabilitation with Hope is a community-based service program supported by the Ministry of Health and local and international universities. The program assists children with physical and mental disabilities by providing much-needed access to quality therapy, based on the implementation of the World Health Organization’s’s community-based rehabilitation model. Rehabilitation therapy includes physical, language, cognitive, and socioemotional areas. The program specifically targets children of families with extremely low financial resources, families who would not otherwise be able to access professional rehabilitation services.
(1) World Health Organization, Violence against Women, Fact Sheet No. 239, Updated January 2016 (Geneva: World Health Organization, 2016), http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/.
(2) UNICEF, Innocenti Digest No. 13: Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities (Florence, Italy: Innocenti Research Center, United Nations Children’s Fund; 2007), http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/documents/children_disability_rights.pdf.