Revamping community support victim units
Prevention is better than cure, so goes the saying. In the quest to ensure that children are safe from protection risks during the Covid-19 pandemic, Save the Children has revamped Community Victim Support Units (CSVU) in Ntcheu district. The units are integral structure in preventing and dealing with gender-based violence that children face in the community. As Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread across the country there seems to be no sign of slowing down. As a precautionary measure, the government closed schools, put restrictions on movements, decongestion of overcrowded and introduction of remote working. According to Phaless Chizure Gender officer for Ntcheu district
the cases of gender-based violence are likely to increase now that the children and parents are under one roof all the time, children are have become more vulnerable to violence and other child protection risks within and outside the homes. She said the revamping of Community Victim support Units it is a stepping-stone to prevent and deal with child protection cases in the community. “My office stopped receiving reports on gender-based and child protection cases way back. To me, it was a sign that the CVSUs were not active. Their inactivity created a gap for child protection and other related cases to spur. I am hopeful that the CVSUs will not revert to the previous state; we will work hand in hand to ensure that children stay safe during the
Covid-19 outbreak” said Chizule. She commended Save the Children for the financial support to revamp and orient the Community victim support units in all the four Traditional Authorities (TA) in Ntcheu district. TA Masasa who is the chairperson for Masasa CVSU acknowledged the dormancy of child protection committee; he attributed transfers of some members affected the functionality of the committee. Similar activities are happening in all the 12 districts that we are responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.