12 Sep 2011

Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Program in Schools

* By Trishla Jasani  * 

CIF has launched Mumbai’s largest initiative in the CSA Awareness space. The program aims to reach 1000 schools, 1 million children and their families within the next year. The program, supported by funding from HDFC, is carried forward by trained lady volunteers, each of whom is allotted a list of schools to complete according to her area and language preference.

Volunteers are required to go through an intensive 2-3 day training program in the beginning of the program, comprising of knowledge and skills component and also a session which trains them to deliver the program on safe and unsafe touch in an age appropriate manner.

The school program is in no way a Sex Education Course, rather uses a simple story telling method in schools to introduce children to the concepts of safe and unsafe touch, and what to do if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation i.e Personal Safety Rules. 

 After registering via filling out the required details in our registration form, either on the website or manually, prospective volunteers will be called for a 1 hour orientation session to the CIF office at Grant Road. Here, the volunteers will clear their doubts and get more familiarized with the program. This interaction also provided as the basis for which the team may select volunteers. . After this, all those selected will need to sign a Commitment Document at the time of confirmation.

In this section, Trishla Jasani* outlines a step by step process of completing workshops in Schools. This article will act as your guide/checklist in the field and will make sure you do not forget any vital component of the program in each school. 

Step 1: Contact and meet with the principal of the school.

From the list you will be given in the field kits start contacting your schools and setting up appointments to meet with principals. At times principals will not give you an actual appointment but will suggest you come to the school during their office hours. Also some schools have separate primary and secondary school principals. You will have to meet with both of them in order to get permission for the various classes. Remember: For your first meeting in each school contact the CHILDLINE CSA Project Team and we will send one person to come with you. Hand over a copy of the authorisation letter given to you by CIF and obtain a formal permission from the principal. The formal permission is important. During your meeting with the Principal and while getting formal permission let the principal know of all components of the program, i.e. the stories, the labels, the letter to parents and the posters. Be complete upfront so that there is no confusion or problem later. 

Step 2: Use the Planner

Use the Planner provided to mark out time for each class and each division (2nd to 6th). Also make sure you plan for parent/teacher sessions if you have been requested to do so by the principal prior to the classroom sessions. 

Step 3: 

a. Conducting the Sessions in Classes

 During the sessions you will need the following items - This handbook - The Flipchart (English, Hindi or Marathi depending on the medium of the school) - 1 Label Sheet per child in class - 1 Letter to Parents per child in class (English, Hindi or Marathi depending on the language spoken at home) Follow the instructions given in the Appendices, tell the story and hand out the labels. At the end of the session hand out one pre-stuck inland letter to each child and ask him/her to write their name and hand it to parents/guardian when they get home. Remember: Thank the children for their time and for listening 

b. Conducted Parent Teacher Sessions 

A complete module of information you need to cover in a parent/teacher session has been included in, in three languages. In addition to this information feel free to talk about the stories (classes 2nd to 6th), flipcharts and labels. Also let parents know they will receive an informational letter regarding the same through their children. Keep some letters on hand if parents ask for it at the session.

Step 4: Put up posters

 Once all sessions in each division and class are complete in a particular school, approach the principal once more about posting the posters if she/he has not done so already. 

Step 5: Get the Principal to Sign Off 

Once all sessions in each division and class are complete in a particular school, approach the principal with this handbook and ask him/her to sign in the demarcated column in the Planner 

Step 6: Report to CHILDLINE CSA Team

Note: CIF is providing you will all the materials you require. The CSA Project Team will be maintaining a record of all materials handed over to volunteers. When you run out of letters/labels/posters please contact the CSA Project Team to organise for more. Please give us at least a week’s notice so that we have time to print if necessary. At the end of your one year period please return all materials to the CIF Office. 

These include:

  • Flipcharts (All that were assigned to you)
  • Extra Labels
  • Extra Letter to Parents
  • Extra Posters
Read more about CSA program here

Click Here to Register for CSA program. 

* Trishla Jasani  was a Consultant Program Coordinator at CHILDLINE India Foundation.

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