Shot In The Arm For Community Workers, As They Get Bicycles

Child Care Workers who had just completed training under the Child Protection Programme received a shot on the arm after UNICEF representative Laylee Moshiri handed them 2 857 bicycles to enhance their operations.

The presentation was done at Epworth Community hall recently.

The government has been leading the National Action Plan, which brings coherence to the implementation of critical child protection interventions in Zimbabwe and bringing together various stakeholders at community and national level.

Moshiri said this was a celebration of the national case management system: a system coordinated by the ministry, in which government, civil society organizations and a cadre of community childcare workers collaborate to ensure that girls and boys are protected from violence, abuse and exploitation, and receive the services they need.

“This work is made possible through the Child Protection Fund (CPF) II, a multi-donor funding mechanism supported by UK aid from the UK government, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, SIDA, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, SDC,” Moshiri said.

Community childcare workers(CCWs), are critical to the success of the national case management system.

It is the CCW, who identifies the child in the community with a disability that requires specialized support and makes the referral to a government or CSO social worker to access those services.

It is the CCW who identifies the grandmother with limited means caring for several grandchildren and makes sure that a social worker registers the family for food assistance.

CCWs are the link between the most vulnerable in our society and the services they need.

Each community childcare worker brings to their work in the community, deep personal commitment, knowledge and experience.

They rely on the mobility of a bicycle to visit the households they serve.

Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Mr. Lovemore Matuke and Switzerland Ambassador  to Zimbabwe, Mr. Niculin Jäger handing over bicycles to CCWs in Epworth
A CCW receiving one of the bicycles under the Child Protection Fund

“UNICEF is proud to collaborate with your ministry, implementing partners and donors to support the CCWs to do an invaluable job. I take this opportunity to thank all the CCWs present today for your hard work and dedication in protecting  children from your communities,” Moshiri added.

UNICEF supports the implementation of case management in the 18 Child Protection Fund districts.

The  2,857 community childcare workers are part of the community social services workforce responsible for following up on reported cases of child protection violations.

In 2018 alone,  54,382 children (30,712 girls and 23,670 boys) were provided with comprehensive child protection services.

“We are pleased to hand over the first batch of 2,857 bicycles to facilitate the work of each of the CCWs. The bikes have been procured with the assistance of the Child Protection Fund donors, particularly the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation,” said Switzerland Ambassador to Zimbabwe Niculin Jäger representing Child Protection Fund donor family.

“These bicycles will help to ensure that CCWs have the mobility to assist children who require child protection services, and the motivation to undertake their important work,” added the Ambassador.

In addition to the bicycles, the CCWs were also given certificates as recognition that they had completed training in ‘Basic Case Management for  Childcare Workers’.

This training, delivered through CPF partner Save the Children, is designed to build CCWS’ skills in areas that  including case management procedures for identification and referral, self-care, communication with children and families, and child safeguarding.