Valini Leitch

Tell Scheme

Name of the project

Hug Project

Dates of implementation (start and completed)

1st November 2010 – 30th April 2013

Objectives and activities and partners 


The aim of this initiative was to improve the lives of children who are at risk of being separated from their families primarily as a result of violence and abuse of all forms in partnership with the Ruimveldt Children Aid Centre. Its focus was to promote the rights of children and their protection within the family, community and school environment. This initiative ensured that children were sensitized in the area of abuse and its effects; these also included information on how to protect themselves from and report abuse. The action also extended support to the caregivers/parents, by ensuring their capacities were developed in positive parenting to ensure that the quality of life for children is improved.

  1. Children are involved in information campaign 15% of the 1100 children reporting abuse; 100 children participating in the national children’s conference by 2013.
  2. Public education awareness inclusive of TV and newspaper articles and 500 parenting handbooks and other materials produced, and disseminated nationally; at least 250 caregivers trained in positive parenting/discipline, child rights and development.
  3. Psychosocial support services through fully trained child care counsellors provided in two communities, Agricola and Ruimveldt.
  4. Participation by professionals from at least 15 government and non-government agencies in the NCP Network.


  1. Providing support to children abused

1.1 Create 1 new & furnish 2 child-friendly spaces

1.2 Provide counselling to 300 children & theirfamilies

1.3 Facilitate quarterly classroom child-protectionsessions with 1100 children over the project life.

1.4 Organized National Children’s Conferencefor lobbying children’s rights and ensuring vulnerablechildren’s voices are heard from all 10 regions in Guyana.

1.5 Child-friendly/youth-friendly materials and messages designed by children produced &disseminated in all 10 regions in Guyana

  1. Train Caregivers & Promoting Public Education.

2.1 PSE training for 300 caregivers to reduce violence against children & develop alternative methods of discipline.

2.2 Produce & disseminate parenting handbooks

2.3 Develop a public awareness advocacy campaign in the media

  1. Training Service Providers

3.1 Train 4 project counsellors and 10 other front-line staff to strengthen their skills in the delivery of services to children & their families.

3.2 Conduct case management sessions with 4counsellors in the project.

3.3 Sign Partnership Agreement with RCAC

  1. National Child Protection Network

4.1 Establish a national networking body comprising of 20 state and non-state actors to advocate for children rights at a national level.

4.2 Network with media programmes to advocate for the rights of OVC.

4.3 Collaborate with the MHSSS to implementthe annual child protection week activities.


  • Over the life of the project a total of 306 children (156 boys and 150 girls) from the 5 target schools and RCAC received psychosocial support including one-to-one counselling, group sessions and home visits. Some of the issues addressed were categorised under the different forms of abuse such as physical, sexual, emotional, neglect and ‘other’ including bereavement, truancy, inappropriate sexual behaviour, disruptive behaviours, etc.
  • Over the life of the action 1988 children (951 boys 1037 girls) from the five primary schools were sensitization on their rights and responsibilities including how to protect themselves from abuse through the ‘Be Safe’ tool, which national tool that was developed by the Guyana Red cross society to teach about abuse and how to protect themselves.
  • On the 17th November 2012, a Grand Children’s Day event was held instead of the National Children’s Conference at the West Ruimveldt Primary School to empower children to speak out on issues affecting them at a forum with their peers, caregivers, teachers, and other leaders. Nearly 250 children, teachers, parents, staff, and partners participated.This aided in raising awareness not only at the community level but also nationally on the need for children to be cared for in a safe environment and protected from all forms of violence and abuse in their homes, communities and schools.
  • A Family Day event was also held on the 13th April 2013 at the Banks DIH Thirst Park Ground. This activity brought parents and children together at a forum where they can begin to listen to each other and work as a team while bonding. Over the period of the action, while working with the children they often mentioned their desires to have bonding times with their parents where they can laugh and play together.
  • 150 children from St. Anne’s, Agricola, Eccles, West Ruimveldt and Ketley Primary Schools as well as children from the Ruimveldt Children’s Aid Centre participated in developing messages, banners and drawings for the Children’s Day activities including a Road March to voice and raise awareness on situations affecting children from children’s perspective. Two (2) children (1 boy and 1 girl) also led in chairing the programme, 1 child speaker delivered the feature address, 3 children shared on the impact of the project in their respective schools and another 40 delivered artistic presentations.
  • Over the life of the action a total of 596 caregivers (514 parents & 82 Teachers, 480 Females & 116 Males) were trained. Through this initiative ChildLinK developed its own Parenting Manual including six modules on Early Childhood Experiences, Child Abuse, Cycle of Violence, Understanding the Communication Process, Handling Stress,Adolescence Physical, Mental and Sexual Development, Encouraging Positive Parenting, Promoting Children’s Health, and Self Care.
  • Over the life of the project 82 teachers (8 males and 74 females) were trained in 22 training sessions. These sessions were conducted once/twice per quarter within the five schools. The topics discussed ranged from child protection issues, classroom manage issues, child development issues etc.
  • 400 parenting handbooks were produced for use within the project. The user friendly handbook includes twelve (12) guidelines on parenting for success, highlighting corresponding UNCRC articles and carried drawings and art work of children. These Parenting handbooks were distributed to several organisations including Security Solutions and Hand in Hand during the National Child Protection Week of activities in September 2012.
  • The project has published eight (8) Newspaper Articles, 7 in the Guyana Times Newspaper and 1 in the chronicle News. ChildLinK published the first article, titled “Too many adults shirking parental duties – ChildLinK Director”, in the Guyana Times Newspaper in September, 2011 to commemorate child protection week
  • Television panel discussions were conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, UNICEF and the Guyana Association of Professional Social Workers during the Child Protection Weeks of activities and month of Social Work. Some of the themes included weaving the threads of social equality through care, action and advocacy, adults take action – the time is now. 

Name of the project

Kinship Care Project

Dates of implementation (start and completed)

June 2011 – March 2013

Objectives and activities and partners


To de-institutionalize 75 children living in orphanages in Guyana, through reintegration with their families/kin and preventing the separation of 225 at risk children reported to the CCPA by the end of March 2014.

The specific objective of this project is to enable the rights of 300 children in Guyana to quality family life, thus providing access to supportive services by the end of March 2014.


  1. Reintegration of children with their Kin.
    • Sign Partnership Agreement with the MoHSSS
    • Assessment of the homes to prepare families for the reintegration.
    • Conduct initial 6 months training with caregivers prior to the reintegration of children.
    • Organise bonding sessions with caregivers and children to strengthen the parent-child relationship.
    • Reintegrate 75 children with their families or relatives where possible.
    • Follow-up visits to monitor families that have been reintegrated.
  2. Provision of Psychosocial Support
    • Provide ongoing psychosocial support to 75 children selected for reintegration and 225 children at risk of being separated from their families or experiencing abuse.
    • Regular follow-up sessions will be conducted with children and their families.
    • Develop modules and conduct quarterly youth support group activities to sensitize children about their basic human rights.
    • Organise 1 youth seminar with 100 children and 50 adults with the aim of empowering and giving children a voice on issues affecting them.
  3. Capacity Building of caregivers/kin
    • Develop training materials and print parenting handbooks produced by ChildLinK Inc.
    • Train and support 300 caregivers in parenting skills education to better care for children.
    • Refer caregivers to the MoHSSS and networking agencies to access other services such as the Difficult Circumstances Unit and the WOW programme among others.
    • Produce a series of lectures on positive parenting on DVD and air on national television.
  1. Training of Professionals

4.1 Recruit a VSO volunteer to provide technical training and support to the project.

4.2 Organisational development training, annual staff training, on-the-job coaching and mentoring of 35 human right workers (inclusive of management and project staff, partner staff, administrators and care-provides within orphanages) to deliver services to children from a rights based approach.

4.3 Quarterly workshops with 3 counsellors in the project to share new skills and learning and providing a support system for dealing with challenging cases.

5.Advocacy and Public Relations Actions

5.1 Advocate and support the MoHSSS in their implementation of the Minimum Operational Standard in institutions run by the government and for the passing of the OVC Policy.

5.2 Participate in the National Child Protection Network/Committee addressing issues relating to children in Guyana.

5.3 Organise Annual Project Reviews to share the best practices and learning of the project with stakeholders (donors, potential donors, partners, associates and networking agencies) 5.4 Produce and disseminate 900 posters and fliers to be distributed across Guyana.

5.5 Produce and air 1 docudrama/documentary on national television.

This project was subsequently scaled up into the HUG initiative.


  • 124children (68 girls and 56 boys) at risk of separation were referred. Over the period there have been noticeable improvements in children and their family situation. 34 of these were closed and 21 have been proposed for closure. These children are currently considered low risk because of the change in their situations. Many children are no longer monitored weekly due to their situations stabilising, but are monitored monthly instead.
  • For the at risk group, 103 from the 124 children received psychosocial support.
  • Four (4) live and four (4) pre recorded television panel discussions airing of the five (5) Episode Parenting DVD produced by ChildLinK;
  • 172 new parents participated in the parenting skills education training bringing the total number of caregivers trained and attending the parent support groups to 172. Parents are using these forums to speak out about some of the abuses that they have endured.
  • ChildLinK is collaborating with the Guyana Times Newspaper bring awareness on the issue of child abuse and parenting. To date forty four (44) articles were published with the theme successful parenting and successful psychosocial interventions with children and families. As a result of these publications we have received approximately 20 telephones calls on the report of children abuse and parenting wanting support to better their situations. We were able to support and made referrals to other agencies where necessary
  • 200 Poster and 200 bumper stickers were developed on the theme Joining hands, for child protection.
  • taxi and minibus drivers and local businesses/organisations on the 29th November 2013.
  • 350 poster with the theme “Be Children’s Champion”
  • ChildLinK hosted a radio discussion on 20th November 2013 with children on the post MDG’s for 2015.