Filling the gaps of safeguarding with RSH

Middle aged man smiling into the camera, sitting relaxed.

Ambassador Aremu Stephen Akinyele has been the Executive Director of Hope for Family Development Initiative (HFDI) Nigeria since 2007. He had worked in many development sectors in Nigeria for 27 years as a Monitoring and Evaluation, Learning and Accountability, programme manager, researcher, and organisational development specialist. He had also worked for both community-based and international organisations as a full time staff member and as a consultant.

The safeguarding journey for Hope for Family Development Initiative (HFDI) started with the Resource and Support Hub (RSH) in February, 2021. This journey has benefited not only HFDI, but also other civil society organisations (CSOs) in Osun state. This is due to the fact that RSH recently made it possible to extend this safeguarding awareness opportunity to 30 other CSOs within Osun state, through a one-day capacity building workshop. This very successful workshop was facilitated by HFDI, and logistically supported by RSH.

Group of participants sitting in a room

At the start of the training session, some comments from the participants indicated that the majority of the participating organisations did not have a good understanding of safeguarding, let alone practice it. However comments, reactions, and feelings from participants at the closing of the training session reflected their desire to learn more about safeguarding and practice safeguarding at their respective organisations.

RSH is doing a fantastic job of ensuring that safeguarding becomes a part of organisations’ culture with their readily available resource materials and resource personnel.

Some of the reactions from participants:

“Coming for this training, I was wondering what it would be about. In my organisation, what we have is human resource policy, and hearing about safeguarding feels strange to me. With this training, I understand better why we need safeguarding in my organisation. As it is, I can say that my organisation has begun our safeguarding journey because after this training we will swing into action’’ – Segun David Amoto, Nagcares Initiative.

“Before now, we had what is called the “HR Policy", but none of it speaks towards safeguarding. This training has exposed me to the knowledge that, it’s not only about having the policies but putting it into the organisation structure is very essential. RSH thank you, HFDI Thank You’’ – Adeyanju N.M, Family Advancement Development Initiative.

“I wish this training could go beyond a day seminar, but notwithstanding, I am glad that there is RSH online hub where we can access more information. Before this training, I had no knowledge of safeguarding; in fact we don’t have a risk register as an organisation. After this training, as an organisation, we will be leveraging on HFDI’s knowledge and also the RSH online hub introduced for more learning”  -– Ejiade Bukola Olubisi, Heritage Life Support Initiative.

“This training came right in time because, as a program officer for my organisation, I have never come across this type of discussion in my years of service at my NGO. I will do well to inform my ED about all learning and draft our action points as it regards safeguarding’’– Atere Adeshola John, WADEM.

‘‘After this training, I will be surfing the internet on national and international standards of safeguarding, especially working with children. We don’t have these policies but we are ready to begin our safeguarding journey so as to ensure we aren’t doing any harm to our aid beneficiaries and all involved in our work’’ – Oni Tayo John, Champion Helpmeet.

Group of participants taking a group photo with their certificate in their hands.

 

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