In Mali, Channels of Hope has managed to facilitate the creation of secure and child friendly communal spaces. This has been achieved through the delivery of awareness-raising and sensitisation sessions aiming to build the capacity of key community figures such as faith and community leaders, as well as community based organisation (CBO) and civil society organisation (CSO) members on the principles of child protection.

At the forefront of this cutting-edge community based initiative is social worker, community mobiliser and Islamic Relief staffer Bamba Issa. He has been working closely with Imam Mahamadou Traore, Director and Teacher of a well-established Madrasa in Bamako to push against early and forced marriage of girls and the promotion of equal child education.

 

“Children be they boys or girls should not be obliged to get married, their voices and consent should be asked.

“Our religion never forces a child to get married. Forced marriage is a practice I am preaching against in our community now.”

Imam Mahamadou Traore

 

Since the inception of the CoH program, faith leaders like Imam Traore have been introduced to concepts of gender based violence and child protection. The faith sensitive methodology of the program has allowed him to deploy his Islamic teachings to preach against child labour, physical and sexual abuse, and Islam’s prohibitive stance against FGM.

Community faith leaders like Imam Traore praised the fantastic initiative undertaken by IRW, calling for more presence not just in formal training sessions but asked for CoH coverage to be expanded to include madrassas (informal schools), formal schools and public precincts for more impact.

(Imam Mahamadou Traore – Director and teacher of a madrassa)

CHATS and Protections Clubs have spurred the growth of child leaders from the community. Watch Salamato President of Children’s club speak about her experience as child rights advocate;

Setting up the Children’s Club:

 

Protection clubs are meant to develop the capacity of community members around best child protection practices.

 

CoH Child Protection training workshops: