Viluthu with the collaboration of few organizations in the south has organized a campaign titled “No Run Tell’ to create awareness on violence against children and to protect them from all forms of abuse. Viluthu has fully supported the promotion of this “No Run Tell” campaign in all its project locations in the different districts. This campaign was initially taken to most of the schools by the youth volunteers and as well as the women’s networks. It has become a joint effort by all the Women’s networks, Volunteers, Government and Non-government Organizations and Child Rights Advocacy Network to promote this campaign in pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, private educational institutions and tuition centers, religious institutions, children’s clubs and people’s gatherings at recreation parks, etc. Awareness raising stickers and posters and a propaganda CD titled ‘my body belongs to me’ provided by Escape have been used during the promotion of this campaign. The difference between appropriate touch and inappropriate touch was emphasized during the awareness sessions for children.
The National Girl Guides Association on the request of Viluthu came forward to collaborate in a joint effort to expand this outreach in all five districts in the North In order to expand this outreach Viluthu contacted. They obtained necessary permission to conduct this awareness programmes in the schools in all five districts in the North. This collaboration has begun in the Jaffna district. Promoting this campaign in the districts of Vanni has become difficult because we cannot provide the travelling costs for the volunteers as it is a non-funded activity. The Girl Guides Association in the East approached Viluthu with a different form of request. Their activities there were at a very low level because of the lack of cooperation from the teachers. So they had devised a strategy of raising awareness of the community and enlisting their support for school guides activities. Viluthu during its visit to the East, assisted the officials of the association, where they were able to identify potential leaders. They were able to mobilize some funds for us to conduct leadership training programmes for them. The collaboration we have begun with the girl guides looks promising.
‘Samuthaya Sankili’ and ‘Kilakkin Akal’, the networks of volunteers consisting of students from the universities of the North and East respectively, undertook to promote this campaign in all the schools in the North and East and they were successful in covering 90% of the schools. They not only enlightened the students on violence against children and child abuse, but also they organized 42 students clubs in these districts. Subsequently they were able to collect official data on cases pertaining to violence against children, from the Government Child Probation Officials and based on this data they conducted a survey on child abuse and its impacts on children in these districts.
The District Union of the WRDSs in the Jaffna District, has done a local fundraising and has collected Rs 49,000 to support its own activities. They initiated and carried out “No Run Tell” campaign against child abuse, in 25 schools in the district. In appreciation of their involvement in this campaign, the UNDP has come forward to grant them Rs 300,000 in order to promote this campaign into new areas. The members of this union have been very actively involved in issuing statements, attending court hearings on cases of rape and murder of women in the district. The district secretariat of Batticaloa, has formed a joint committee consisting of all relevant govt. officials and the public to work on issues related to children. The Secretary of the WRDS Union, Ms. Joeline, has been appointed as the coordinator of this joint committee. This appointment was offered to her in appreciation of her involvement in the “No Run Tell” campaign where she carried out 25 events on her own. The Union has incessant requests from the DS offices, schools and children’s clubs to come and carry out the campaign in their areas.