Protecting children in Sri Lanka through Canadian Red Cross program Be Safe!
Be Safe! was adapted from resources used in Canada through the RespectED: Violence & Abuse Prevention program. It was developed to suit the cultural context of Sri Lanka through consultation with over 70 agencies working with children, parents and teachers from different ethnic communities of Sri Lanka. Key partners for development and implementation include the Ministry of education, the National Child Protection Authority and the Probation and Child Care Services Department. To date, this program has educated over 273,000 adults, teachers, principles and children across Sri Lanka. The demand for the program has continued to grow and in collaboration with key government partners the program is now being scaled up even further.
Be Safe! has educated thousands of teachers in Sri Lanka who now have the knowledge needed to prevent violence against children and many more will be educated in the years ahead, says Dr. Sinha Wickremesekera, Manager of Child Protection for the Canadian Red Cross in Sri Lanka. We believe that through evidence-based, comprehensive, culturally appropriate strategies that raise awareness and build protective systems in communities, violence against children is not inevitable and can be stopped.
An important element of Be Safe! is Asha the elephant, a puppet used to communicate the prevention message to children. Recently, the Canadian Red Cross was handed the copyright of this puppet by Sri Lankan puppet maker Mothilal Perera, who is another example of a devoted partner dedicated to advance the safety of children through the network of the Red Cross.
Click here to learn more about RespectED: Violence & Abuse Prevention