CAR. Community reintegration of vulnerable children in the provinces of Haute and Basse-Kotto
11-05-2022 | di COOPI

CAR. Community reintegration of vulnerable children in the provinces of Haute and Basse-Kotto

Since September 2021, COOPI – Cooperazione Internazionale, with the support of UNICEF, has been implementing the project  “Care for vulnerable children and support for the empowerment of adolescents/youth and community mechanisms in the fight against violence against children in the Prefectures of Haute Kotto (Bria Centre; Bria-Yalinga axis) and Basse Kotto (Alindao Centre, Kembe-Satema axis)”. The intervention supports the community reintegration of children and adolescents in highly vulnerable situations and exposed to serious human rights violations. This project is in line with the national and international priorities of the cooperation programme with the Central African Government (2018-2021) and the Country Programme's child protection sector strategy.

Specifically, COOPI's intervention focuses on children and adolescents whose protection is highly at risk, including: children associated with armed forces and groups, children who are victims of sexual exploitation and abuse and who have experienced gender-based violence, children separated from their families and unaccompanied minors. The project aims at reintegrating vulnerable children into their families and communities through training, education, care and psychosocial support. Moreover, the project contributes in a transversal way to facilitate children's access to education and to strengthen social cohesion in the localities of intervention.

In total, through this project, COOPI will provide assistance to 4,550 children in highly vulnerable situations. Several activities will be implemented during the implementation of this project, including:

  • Theoretical and practical training of adolescents and young people associated with armed forces and groups with a view to their socio-economic reintegration;
  • Management of separated and unaccompanied minors through transitional foster families and reunification with biological families;
  • Psychosocial assistance for victims of gender-based violence and sexual abuse and exploitation;
  • Implementation of a mechanism for monitoring and sharing information on serious violations of children's rights;
  • Establishment and animation of child-friendly spaces.

The project is implemented in the prefectures of Haute-Kotto, particularly in the city of Bria, on the Ouadda and Yalinga and Alindao axes, and Basse-Kotto, with a wide range of activities on the Mingala, Datoko and Pavica axes. In the different localities where the project is implemented, unaccompanied and separated children will be placed in transitional foster families and then reunited with their biological families. The cases of children who are victims of gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse will be taken care of by specialised personnel who will provide them with psycho-social support through a holistic approach, including medical, social and legal assistance and the provision of basic necessities. As part of the project, COOPI has also established 15 Child Friendly Spaces in the different implementation locations. In these safe spaces, the implementation team welcomes and entertains children with play and recreational activities. 15 listening points and a listening centre have also been built to facilitate psychosocial support for children in difficult situations through specialised social workers. In addition, given the low involvement of young people in peaceful conflict management and resolution, transversal activities on social cohesion and peaceful conflict management will also be implemented for young people in the different areas of intervention.

Throughout the implementation of this project, COOPI will ensure the full participation of the project beneficiaries in all stages of implementation and collaboration with the Central African authorities, in particular with the decentralised state services in the areas of intervention.