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Student Focus: Personal Rights Training

May 9, 2012

From the Field

Ketsara from the Office of Child Protection begins her presentation.

It’s summer vacation, but for the staff at SOLD, it’s no time to slack off. We’ve been ramping up activities to keep the kids occupied and use the time to provide more tutoring, classes, and even a few special workshops.

One event on our calendar was a presentation by the Office of Child Protection, designed for SOLD staff and a few of the older children who we believe serve well as mentors to their younger peers. In this presentation, we learned effective and well-considered techniques for talking to kids (usually aged 9-11) about their personal rights, especially vis-a-vis their bodies. We learned ways to talk to kids in a language that is age-appropriate about how their bodies belong to them, bodies are private,  they have a right to not be touched in ways they don’t like, and that if they (or their friends) are touched in such a way, how they can get help from a trusted adult.

We learned how to use body maps and diagrams to start a conversation about what is a good touch and what is a bad touch.

We watched informative children’s videos about ways children might be exploited and learned how we can use them in a class setting. Then staff and the student mentors had sessions to practice how they might talk to their younger peers about their personal rights, and what they would do in situations where a friend tells them they’ve been abused or exploited.

It was a great refresher course for the staff…but it was even more empowering for the student mentors, to learn what a role they could play in helping and advising the younger kids who look up to them, and the agency they have in helping protect themselves and their friends.

It’s protection and it’s empowerment. More than that, it’s leadership training.

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