Courage is an open-source child protection and empowerment programme that combines toolkits and workshop processes that help you to recognise the rights and needs of all children, to identify where they are being abused or overlooked, and to develop the strategies you will need to solve these challenges. Courage will empower you, your organisation, and your community to make a difference, in partnership with others, and to measure and evaluate your progress to ensure that the difference you make is effective and sustainable. The Courage toolkits and workshops are designed for learners, students, parents, community members, and child protection officers, including social workers, teachers, coaches, all health care practitioners, police officers, in fact anyone who has a role to play in the care, protection and empowerment of children. Courage is registered as an NPC No. 2017/422875/08, an NPO No. 203-137 and a PBO No. 930076967.
All of the Courage toolkit material can be viewed and downloaded for free from our Workshop Process and Workshop Themes pages. You can access Online Training here.
Courage is looking for Funding Partners to expand our Child Protection & Empowerment Community, please download our funding proposal for more information.
Building strong communities
At Courage we believe that child protection is everyone’s responsibility, but often the challenges seem too great, and the solutions too complex to make a real difference. Our vision is to help build strong communities around the world that put the rights and needs of their children first. We do this by empowering individuals, families and communities with accessible tools and processes that help them to address their child protection challenges in positive and proactive ways.
Understanding child protection
Child protection is the prevention and responding to violence, exploitation and abuse against children. It is critical that we try to address these issues proactively as they can lead to many challenges in the future. These challenges include anxiety, depression, suicide, learning disorders, post traumatic stress and developmental delays. In the long term, a life of violence, can result in substance abuse, poor self regulation, risky sexual behaviour and toxic stress that impacts negatively on health and wellbeing.
Disempowered vs empowered child protection
For this reason, we need an empowered approach to protecting our children. The world of child protection is made up of three kinds of people, 1) the child protection officers, 2) children, and 3) perpetrators, or people who have done something wrong to children. Too often these three kinds of people find themselves in a ‘cycle or disempowerment’, where the child protection officer becomes a rescuer, the child becomes a victim and the perpetrator, a persecutor. Unfortunately, each of these people tend to move around this cycle of disempowerment with no real change in behaviour. The rescuer becomes the victim, the victim becomes the persecutor and the persecutor becomes the rescuer, and so the cycle continues. We need to break out of this cycle of disempowerment into one of empowerment. In an empowered approach to child protection, the child protection officer becomes a enabler, helping the child and the perpetrator to make different choices. The child becomes a survivor or thriver, and the perpetrator becomes an accountable person, who knows the difference between right and wrong.
Drivers of community empowerment
At Courage we believe that personal empowerment is driven by three key things: 1) your belief in possibility; 2) your level of self awareness; and 3) that you focus on abundance rather than scarcity. When we are children, we all start out believing we can do anything or be anything, we are unconsciously empowered, as we have a high belief in possibility but very low levels of self awareness. However, if enough people tell us that we can’t be who we want to be, then we move to the space of unconscious disempowerment, where we neither believe anything is possible, nor do we understand how we can change this. The people who try to convince us that we can’t be who we want to be, often sit in the area of conscious disempowerment. They may be very clever, but they have decided that the only way to get what they want, is to take it away from others, and so they are driven by scarcity rather than abundance. Courage tries to encourage individuals and communities to be consciously empowered. Through lots of research, we have identified that there are seven key areas of personal and community empowerment that we can use to help us think differently about our world and our role within it. To help you believe in possibility we encourage you to develop a vision for yourself, to build on this vision through knowledge and insight and to turn your vision into small actions every single day. To build your levels of self awareness, we help you to understand the values that drive your day to day behaviour, we encourage you to partner with like minded individuals in win-win collaborations, where both parties understand the value that they add through building self esteem and self worth. Finally, at Courage, all our work is driven by the concept of abundance and a belief that there is more than enough in the world for everyone. We do this through a fundamental belief in the power of love and the desire to bring people together to form strong happy families and communities.
These are the seven different areas of personal and community empowerment that support not just our Courage empowerment philosophy, but also our community engagement workshops. For more information please visit our different workshop process and themes pages, watch the videos provided and download the relevant presentations, posters and support material.
If you would like to find out how the Courage Child Protection & Empowerment programme was developed, please watch this video.