Wednesday, May 29 marked an important milestone for AMECEA as the association launched its two important documents, the AMECEA Child Safeguarding Standards, and Guidelines and the AMECEA Child Safeguarding Standards: A facilitators’ Manual.
According to George Thuku, the AMECEA Child Safeguarding Officer, the standards and guidelines booklet is not a policy document but rather a framework for policy development that will help AMECEA Conferences develop their own policies based on local contexts.
A Facilitators’ Manual, on the other hand, has been developed in such a way that it can be used to train child protection staff as well as policy makers from AMECEA Conferences who will be developing the Child Protection policies for their countries.
“The AMECEA Child Safeguarding Standards and Guidelines set minimum standards for protection of children, guided by the Code of Canon Law, Catholic Social Teachings, and the Universal Church policy directions in relation to safeguarding of minors and vulnerable adults,” explained
Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Chimombo, Coordinator of AMECEA Pastoral Department in his speech at the launch indicated that the document has been scrutinized at different levels of the Church hierarchy within the AMECEA Region. He, however, indicated that there could still be a scope for improvement in terms of both content and clarity of exposition and he, therefore, welcomed all constructive suggestions.
“In writing these standards and guidelines, I benefited from the input of many people most notably Ms. Isabel de Bruin Cardoso, an International Child Protection and Safeguarding Consultant, who really served as a reliable partner to the AMECEA Pastoral Department in putting together this great package of work. The list of people who have contributed to these tools is long. While I acknowledge all their valuable contributions, it will not be possible to mention all of them by name,” Fr. Chimombo elaborated.
He said that the handbook is now ready for use in all AMECEA member countries and beyond and will soon be available online.
The AMECEA Chairman of Pastoral Department Most Rev. Ignatius Chama, Archbishop of Kasama, Zambia, led the colorful ceremony, assisted by the Bishop Chairman of Priests Commission of Tanzania Episcopal Conference Rt. Rev. Joseph Mlola, Bishop of Kigoma. It was attended by AMECEA partners and collaborators and staff from various departments in the Member Conferences.