Programme name: Child Protection (CP)
Programme time frame: 2014 - 2018
Direct beneficiaries: 33 750
Indirect beneficiaries: 53 000
World Vision views child protection as a top priority. Building on that foundation, World Vision Armenia seeks to empower children, families, communities and partners to prevent and respond to exploitation, neglect, abuse and other forms of violence affecting children, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable.
Despite the recent efforts in Armenia’s consolidation of laws on child protection, the existence of various government bodies assigned to protect and monitor child rights, the major problems in the country’s child protection sector still relate to child abuse, neglect, and all other forms of violence. Numerous cases of children exposed to physical and psychological violence, children from impoverished families left for the state care, insufficient resources and lack of monitoring mechanisms, lower living conditions are among the most pressing issues.
Child Protection programme targets government-level decision makers in order to ensure that the child care system in Armenia significantly reduces reliance on large-scale institutions through the establishment of a network of community-based alternative social services. The programme is designed through application of systems approach to child protection, helping to strengthen the protective environment around children, as well as the children themselves.
Non-abusive and inclusive families, schools and communities for all children, especially the most vulnerable.
World Vision Armenia employs systems building approach seeking to strengthen functioning of local, regional and national child protection systems —where government, civil society, and community stakeholders are empowered, coordinated, and working together to create a protective environment that cares for and supports development and education of all children. This includes a focus on the formal elements such as child protection system state actors, social and public service providers at local, regional and national levels, national legislation, and informal elements such as churches, and community based organizations, youth networks and children with all of them that work together for improved child protection.
The most vulnerable children (MVC) are at the core of the overall strategy of World Vision Armenia. World Vision in cooperation with the key stakeholders commits that 100% of MVC are identified, creating individual development plans elaborated based on professional needs assessment. Within this programme, World Vision conducts regular vulnerability mapping and update of the MVC database.
Local Level Advocacy: World Vision programming prioritizes that all children are enrolled in and receive basic education. Local level advocacy activities are conducted to promote the idea of inclusive education and the necessary steps for obtaining the status of inclusive school, while home education is advised only in cases when children have prolonged illnesses and are physically unable to go to school for a long period of time.
National Level Advocacy: World Vision Armenia advocates for school budget transparency, participatory planning and reporting of those budgets, which is seen as one of preconditions for quality education and accountability.
World Vision Armenia advocacy team has been heavily involved in the working groups initiated by the Ministry of Education and Science in the framework of Open Government Partnership (OGP) and had a very important role in including educational process transparency and accountability in the 2nd Action Plan of the OGP. This has resulted in the development of legal acts endorsed by the Minister of Education ensuring transparent election of school governance bodies and accountability of school budget to service users.
Peace Road for Children: permanently established community-based clubs, which aim to build five core competencies in life skills among children: critical thinking, emotional management, communication, relationship-building and social responsibility. The learning process is organized through games, discussions and other activities.
Positive Discipline: Trainings on positive discipline among parents and teachers to achieve the desired behavioural change and resulting in a decrease in the proportion of parents practicing physical punishments as well as in an increase among teachers who think that a child should never be beaten.
R&R (resources and referral): R&R is a community child protection mechanism, which forms abilities aimed at proper identification, reporting, referring and responding to the cases of children’s right violations. The adopted approach capacitates child protection actors on formal and non-formal mechanisms to respond to situations whenever a child is being abused, exploited or neglected, and provide relevant assistance to them and their family members. Within this approach both formal and informal get together in a workshop to look at the strengths and the problems with the adopted ways of reporting and referral of cases to better address child protection violations.
Celebrating Families: The model aims to support vulnerable families to create an environment of care and love for their children. This support is provided through strengthening parenting skills, while also promoting spiritual nurture of their children. In certain cases the “Celebrating Families” methodology is led by faith leaders to make use of their active contribution to child protection.
Social Work: World Vision Armenia works with Armenia’s government to adopt successful innovations into social protection sphere of children as permanent reforms and to promote them from local to national level. Among those suggestions are: quality services provided by the government across the continuum of child care, with clear standards, feasible plans and adequate funding, strong social protection mechanisms, including community-based social workers’ services, laws and policy solutions shaped at local context and child protection evidence, including children’s voices, the establishment of state paid community level specialists/social workers, etc. Armenia’s government in consultations with World Vision Armenia and other partners has finally developed a Master Action Plan that ensures a holistic approach for CP reforms and serves as platform to coordinate all the contributions of the partners. Among those partners, WVA continues supporting further institutionalization of “community social work” institute, as well as provides technical support in development of regulatory/policy framework to ensure that policy documents are in line with the UN CP Guidelines and best practices from the field.
Deinstitutionalization: Promote restructuring of the Special Education System into total Inclusive Educational System with particular focus on the adoption of Draft Law on "Mainstream Education" and supporting government efforts to transform all schools into accessible facilities for all children, including physical and professional dimensions.
Trainings on child rights: Series of lectures and trainings aimed at awareness raising of children on their rights/duties designed for children. Its primary objective is to transfer knowledge and skills on the rights and duties and prepare children to act as trainers for their peers to conduct similar lectures in the future.
Trainings on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR): The goal of the trainings is to provide knowledge and skills necessary to plan and implement DRR activities, including first medical assistance in schools.
Cooperation with the Church: World Vision views the Church as an influential and extremely effective partner in addressing child protection issues at local and national levels. Through its programming children are engaged in Spiritual Nurture initiatives, such as Christmas celebrations, schools, and meetings with the community priests on regular bases as well as organizing Christian Summer Camps where they have an opportunity to spend time with their peers, participate in fun and simulation games.