PYN carry out training to strengthen safeguarding measures

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Community-Based Organization Pwani Youth Network carried out training on safeguarding to strengthen safeguarding measures and policies in the organization.

In a groundbreaking two-day safeguarding capacity-building training, the critical importance of safeguarding took center stage.

“Safeguarding are the measures put in place to protect individuals, assets, and everyone from harm, damage, or even loss. It includes policies and practices that are there to ensure the well-being and safety of people and resources,” said Saumu Hussein, Pwani Youth Network Project Officer.

“For an organization like PYN, since we are working in a community, and work with children and vulnerable groups in the community, it is important that we learn and get to understand what safeguarding is,” she added.

During a capacity-building initiative led by Shared Services Platform (SSP) in 2023, the Lack of integration of safeguarding practices and policies into daily operations was among the gaps prevalent in CBOs and NGOs.

The process reviewed the policies and processes of identified local CBOs and NGOs.

“Safeguarding role should be played by everyone. it is not just about identifying concerns but also creating a culture where safeguarding is prioritized and everyone feels empowered to speak up,” said Saumu after the PYN training.

Others identified in 2023 include gaps in governance which underscored the critical need for bolstering the capacity of board members and key decision-making staff, along with the establishment of comprehensive governance structures.

There was also the absence of thoroughly documented safeguarding measures which underlined the urgent need for more robust and compliant safeguarding frameworks.

“Addressing these pivotal areas not only ensures adherence to legal and ethical standards but also cultivates a secure and nurturing environment for all stakeholders, thereby enhancing organizational integrity and well-being,” read a communique from Global Development Incubator (GDI Africa).

“The training was very important for us as an organization as we now understand what we need to do and also help us plan on how we are going to put our policies and measures in place,” said PYN Project Officer Saumu Hussein.

Speaking after the training, Derrick Omondi from PYN said the training had enlightened him on some of the measures to take when working with children in terms of safeguarding.

Derrick said “I always knew that children need to be safeguarded but had no idea on the extent the safeguarding should be. The training opened my mind to different ways to avoid having a negative impact when working with children, the community, and others.”

The two-day PYN training held in February under GDI Africa was facilitated by Peter Ouma Muga, a governance, human resources, and safeguarding expert.

“In an era where safeguarding, the prevention from abuse, exploitation, and neglect, has become an increasingly prominent global concern, particularly within the development sector, ensuring compliance has never been more crucial,” said Peter Ouma.

On day one, the focus was on laying the foundation with robust institutional governance policies and procedures aimed at preemptively addressing and managing safeguarding issues across diverse organizational functions.

Day two ushered in a deeper exploration into sports safeguarding, delving into the nuances of protecting participants in sports programs.

“This was particularly relevant for initiatives like PYN’s Education through Sports (Edu-Sports) and PLAY program, which aim to empower coaches and youth in recognizing and honing their talents,” said Peter.

“At the heart of sports safeguarding lies the implementation of tailored policies, procedures, and support mechanisms designed to navigate the unique dynamics of the sports environment. It encompasses proactive measures to prevent incidents and prompt responses to any safeguarding concerns, ensuring the safety, well-being, and dignity of athletes, coaches, staff, and all individuals involved in sporting activities,” he added.

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