The training programme on personal safety was conducted for teachers and parents of three NEN Meghalaya’s active working communities. It was conducted across several villages throughout the month of August, 2023.
The programme was conducted in the villages of Umsaw, West Khasi Hills District on the 7th and 9th of August; in Rymbai, East Jaintia Hills District on the 14th and 17th of August; and in the villages of Nongshillong and Wahliewlong, Eastern West Khasi Hills on the 23rd and the 25th of August, 2023. The programme targeted both the teachers and parents of each of the villages and were conducted in the communities as well as schools of the villages. Five schools from Umsaw, seven schools from Nongshillong and Wahliewlong and one from Rymbai participated in the programme, with the schools themselves being host to NEN. In addition, the communities also participated in the trainings designed for the parents. The resource persons for the training programmes were from Faith Foundation, a child-rights based organisation in Shillong.
The personal safety training was a much needed programme in light of recent events in West Khasi Hills which highlighted the terrible situation of child abuse in the Meghalaya, in addition to the lack of awareness among guardians and teachers who are not equipped enough to recognise, mitigate, report and handle such cases in their schools and communities. Meghalaya has seen a rise in the number of cases reported and thus, it is high time that such a programme be conducted among NEN’s outreach communities. These cases are also coming to the NEN outreach workers in the communities where NEN is working. Thus, it is important for NEN to take steps in order to address this issue. NEN is also forming the Child Protection Committee moving forward, to keep up and strengthen the communities and school’s ability to tackle such issues effectively when they arise and to ensure a safe and secured childhood for all.