Ending violence against children in Africa
Canadian and African agencies partner to advance children’s rights
MARKHAM, Ont. — Protecting and advancing the rights and safety of children in Africa are at the heart of a new partnership forged by Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) and the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), as announced today by the leaders of the two agencies at a special event at CCFC’s Canadian office.
“A world where every child has a voice and the ability to achieve their full potential, this is the vision of CCFC and the key to our decision to enter into this partnership with the ACPF,” says Patrick Canagasingham, CCFC’s CEO. “Together, we are committed to promoting the rights and well-being of children, their protection from violence, abuse and neglect and their inclusion in development.”
These common objectives led to the exploration of a partnership when Canagasingham met with ACPF’s founder and CEO, Dr. Assefa Bequele, in Ethiopia last year. To complete the agreement, and help announce the details, Dr. Bequele travelled to Canada this week to speak to international development colleagues about the issue of violence against African children and how his organization is working to create solutions and influence African government.
“We believe in an Africa where every child enjoys all rights and develops to reach his or her full human potential,” says Dr. Bequele. “In this partnership, we can cooperate for the improvement of the lives of children in Africa through the promotion of and protection of their rights.”
The event, Ending Violence Against Children in Africa, was held at CCFC’s Markham office with various Canadian international development agencies represented. It marked International Development Week in Canada, as well as the announcement of the CCFC and ACPF partnership. Dr. Bequele provided insight into his agency, and the work they do across Africa, to contribute to improved knowledge on children in Africa; influence and collaborate with governments and civil society in the development and implementation of effective pro-child policies; and also promote a common voice for children in and out of Africa.
"This was an inspiring event. To hear Dr. Bequele emphasizing the child is the centre of development, and the state is the key agent that will drive this development apparatus, it's clear localization is crucial to sustainable results. Localization in the identification of problems and proposing solutions. We, as the international development actors, advocate for the rights of children and support the states to put children in their agendas and to implement progressive policies for child well-being." — Iraz Soyalp, global child-protection specialist, Right to Play
"I believe this confirmed CCFC’s practice of working with local partners is actually brilliant and more effective. We have the advantage of having partners who truly understand the social, anthropological, religious and cultural context. And to solve these problems is going to take a generation… It’s not going to happen overnight." — Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, global managing director at DaMina Advisors LLP
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About Christian Children’s Fund of Canada:
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-centred international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For nearly 60 years, CCFC has worked with children, communities, supporters and other partners — changing lives through improved health, education and clean water. CCFC works in 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas, to support more than 700,000 children, youth and community members.