Child Protection Authority Launches New Information Drive To Address COVID-19 Challenges

PR – As a response to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in Grenada, the Child Protection Authority (CPA) has launched an initiative to address parenting and child protection challenges during these times.

Dubbed “The COVID-19 Campaign”, the drive seeks to utilize a series of resources including electronic posters, animations, and a radio drama series to focus on issues affecting children and parents.

The campaign is being run in collaboration with the UNICEF Office of the Eastern Caribbean Area, with funding from United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

At the virtual launch on August 19, Managing Director of the Authority Mrs. Yvonne Da Breo expressed gratitude to the implementing partners for their support at this critical time.

“It is important to note that, especially during this period, children and parents must receive clear and concise information. As many of our children are using the internet to connect with friends, family and to complete assignments, parents and guardians must be aware of cyber criminals and, as such, ensure the protection of children from online abuse, particularly bullying and sexual abuse.

The Authority has developed its COVID-19 Campaign to do just this and we thank our development partners UNICEF and USAID for making this possible,” Mrs. Da Breo said.

UNICEF has been working closely with the Child Protection Authority of Grenada in recent years, especially as it relates to communication campaigns to prevent and address violence and other childhood abuses. And it comes as no surprise that they are on board with this venture.

Dr. Aloys Kamuragiye, Representative of the Office for the UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Area, stressed the importance of child protection measures in these times.

He explained, “Governments should prioritize maintaining or adapting critical prevention and response services to protect children from violence. This includes designating social service workers as essential and ensuring they are protected, strengthening child helplines, and making positive parenting resources available.” He further stated, “We at UNICEF also believe that COVID-19 presents an important opportunity for us all to step back and re-calibrate focus on those priorities that will make the biggest difference for children.”

The Child Protection Authority’s campaign is one of the main projects USAID has supported in the region this year and Mr. Clinton White, Director of USAID’s Eastern and Southern Caribbean Mission, highlighted the value of collaboration in initiatives like these.

“This type of partnership with the Government of Grenada, with our partner UNICEF and the US Government really shows the commitment that we are here to serve to the people of Grenada in helping to improve their lives. I just want to thank you all for the opportunity to be able to partake in this very critical event in a way to ensure that this type of communication and messaging gets out so that people could really understand what we are doing together,” Mr. White said.

This virtual launch, which occurred via the Zoom platform, was attended by officials from UNICEF, USAID, the US State, and the Child Protection Authority.

The Authority hopes this campaign will help all to understand that the new challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic further exposes the vulnerability of children and that all must collectively take measures to ensure that children’s their rights, including that of safety and security, are protected.