Recent studies have revealed that the Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara districts have the highest statistics of violence against children. Keeping in mind the actions and reactions of the relevant authorities to child abuse in Sri Lanka, it is essential that we as service organizations pay attention to what we can do to minimize child abuse. Therefore, this project title “Awareness Creation among School Children and Mystery Painting for Abused Children in the Western Province” was designed to minimize the physical child abuse at the chosen province level which is the Western province. This project is being funded by the Australian High Commission in Colombo and will run from January to September 2016.
The project has three main components;
1. The first is awareness creation workshops at government schools in the above mentioned districts to educate children about physical child abuse. The workshops will be conducted in 9 schools in the Western Province for 200 children in the age groups 05-11 and 12-16.
2. The second is a series of mystery-painting workshops at the Salvation Army Child Development Centre in Dehiwala, to help destitute children improve their psychological well-being and overcome trauma. 20 children from this home will participate in the workshops which will be held weekly for a period of three months.
3. The final component is a research conducted to identify the services available to abused children, the limitations of these services, recommendations for the improvement of these services and the mechanisms available to report child abuse. Surveys will be carried out with local and international NGOs, NCPA officials, officials from the Women and Children’s Bureau and officials from the Department of Probations in the respective districts. Additionally, destitute children at shelter homes and school children will also be included in the survey. The final survey report will be published alongside the paintings of the children who participated in the mystery-painting workshops. The survey will be useful for both government bodies and NGOs who work towards combatting child abuse.