Program Description (Background)
International Medical Corps (IMC) is working alongside the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to implement a three-year integrated protection intervention focusing on mitigating and responding to child protection and gender-based violence risks in the Far North region. The partnership between IMC and IRC allows continuity for: 1) the delivery of a common approach to protection risk mitigation and response to improve the project’s holistic impact; 2) a complimentary implementation approach between both partners which has permitted the program to reach more beneficiaries and increase geographic reach; and 3) the strengthening of community-based approaches focusing on building local capacities for prevention and response of GBV and Child Protection risks. Within this common approach, the partnership has improved the delivery of protection services through evidence-based programming models, sharing of best practices and lessons learned from several years of programming in the Far North. The partnership has begun to implement the integrated approach in different locations, building on each other’s technical capacities and experiences in Y1. With the establishment of the programme the partnership will build its programme in Y2 (and Y3) in the following areas: Child Protection The first component is aimed at strengthening the protective environment for children through building local capacities of key actors, including government actors, community members and caregivers, on protection, mental health and psychosocial support, in order to facilitate behaviour change in communities and with caregivers. In Y2, the partnership has adapted this component by updating its strategy and will conduct evaluations to measure the impact of sensitizations carried out so far. Lessons learned from Y1 will be applied in Y2;for example, youths who were provided with theorical skills in Y1, will instead receive active support to access employment in Y2 , as IMC gained clearer context of the high level of unemployment and lack of training opportunities for youth in its intervention areas. Therefore, youth will be trained by professionals with certificates granted at the end of their training and provided with start-up kits for social integration. Youth empowerment activities for vulnerable youth, aiming to strengthen their resilience and facilitate the development of their life skills, will continue to be implemented alongside all Y2 child protection activities. The reorientation activities in Y2 will continue in Y3 with newly selected youth. During Y3, those trained in Y2 will also be followed up with to make sure their businesses are well conducted and that line ministries are providing technical support.
Refresher training will be scaled up throughout year 2 (and year 3) with increased support in Y2(and Y3) of local structures (government and community-based actors) to lead and coordinate activities to facilitate community ownership as pathway for the project’s exit strategy. The same actors trained in Y1 will benefit from refresher training in Y2 with a focus on training contents that are not yet well assimilated. The objective is to draw their attention on child protection violations in conflict settings to prevent violations of children’s rights. In Y3, people trained since Y1 will receive knowledge on training techniques and tips on how to transfer or conduct trainings towards adults, for them to replicate the knowledge received to their peers. The second component will continue to aim at emergency response activities to mitigate child protection risks faced by vulnerable and at-risk children affected by the conflict. This remains a focus of Y2 and will be implemented through case management, development of safe healing and learning spaces and support for civil documentation. Case management services will focus on vulnerable children including unaccompanied, separated children, children associated with armed forces and armed groups, children living with disabilities, as well as other vulnerable children will continue to be provided with psychosocial support by dedicated staff. Children aged 6- 11 years will continue to be targeted in Y2 to take part in activities with more focus with line ministries including the Ministry of Basic Education and MINAS. They will provide technical support in the follow up of children placed in foster care and validation of training curricula used in SHLS activities, participate in the training of animators, and follow up of children and their referrals to formal schools. Children at risk of statelessness will be targeted by the project in Y2 during which birth certificates will be produced for them. In Y3, activities will continue in the same light with focus on the transfer of these activities to local communities and authorities as part of the project’s exit strategy. GBV Building from, Y1 results, lessons learned and the existing GBV programming in the Far North, the partnership will continue to enhance the safety, security, wellbeing and empowerment of women and girls through the same integrated approach proposed for child protection implementation (capacity building and emergency response). To ensure a safe environment for women and girls, IMC and IRC will continue strengthening the protective environment for women and girls through dedicated activities carried out such as the Girl Shine approach for girls and support of women-led Community Based Organizations (CBOs) for women. CBOs selected and trained in Y1 will continue supporting prevention and response services in Y2 and Y3 to improve activities ownership and sustainability. In Y2, based on the capacity checklist to be carried by the partnership, CBO focal points will take the lead in providing psychosocial services, case management and referrals in the Far North. IRC and IMC will continue to provide monthly support through operational meetings to discuss the progress of activities, challenges encountered, and additional support required. Empowerment curriculums such as Girl Shine and “Economic and Social Empowerment” (EA$E) implementation will continue in year 2 and 3. Sensitization activities will continue to be carried out under strategy of behaviour change using community key factors such as husband schools’ members, protection committees, CBOs, VSLA members and Girl Shine mentors and participants.
In the East, Adamawa and North . IMC will facilitate the establishment and support of community-based protection committees (Community Based Organization (CBO), women committees and Husband schools). These protection committees, including community volunteers, will be trained during 03 days on GBV core concepts and sensitization techniques. They will also be involved in information dissemination, identification and addressing of protection risks in the community. Through the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) and “Economic and Social Empowerment” (EA$E) curriculum, IMC will continue to build the capacity of women in order to allow them to implement small-scale projects and to address GBV among communities. These VSLA members will be weekly coached by IMC staffs (Women Engagement) with the collaboration of MINPROFF staff who will provide supervision as part of the sustainability of this approach. As in Far North, Social workers will continuously provide individualized case management and psychosocial services for survivors of GBV in line with the Inter-Agency GBV Case Management Guidelines in East and Adamawa and North. IMC will continue to strengthen the referral pathway for GBV cases through the departmental and regional coordination lead by MINPROFF. During this project, IMC will also support the health regional delegation by training the heath personnel of intervention areas on Clinical Management of Rape (CMR) in order to ameliorate the care of sexual violence.