Strengthening children, parents and professionals in the local community for child protection

In the school year 2015/2016 Brave Phone worked with with the primary school in Borovje (a neighbourhood of Zagreb with specific social issues), supported by the National Foundation for Civil Society Development, the EEA Financial Mechanism Office, and the Norwegian Mechanism for the Implementation of Programmes for Civil Society Organisations in Croatia. Together they carried out the project ˝Strengthening children, parents and professionals in the local community for child protection˝. The project was implemented in the local commnity of Borovje where the Children´s House programme operates, and its aim was to educate all members of the local community about peer-to-peer violence and  thus prevent this form of violence.

Activities included educating the teachers at Borovje Primary School about the causes of violence among children and the the various manifestations of violent behaviour in children, so that they could then respond effectively in their direct work with children. Likewise, over the course of 12 group meetings, we worked with children who had been identified as in need of support with pro-social behaviour. In parallel we carried out group workshops with the parents of these children, to encourage them to question their own parenting methods, and to help them cope with the everyday demands of parenting.

In collaboration with the Luka Ritz counselling service we held two forum theatre productions in Borovje Primary School. With children in fifth grade the forum group dealt with themes of social discrimination, while with children in eighth grade we addressed the theme of sexual harrassment. The pupils who were the forum theatre audience played an  active role in solving the problems demonstrated by the forum group by asking questions, giving advice and participating in the production, with the aim of resolving the social conflicts in a non-violent way.

The project was commended in the competition ˝Supporting innovative initiatives for children and young people in local communities˝.