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In 2009, Tanzania passed the Law of the Child Act to prevent and respond to violence through regulations and guidelines. TFFT works to further this prevention through our Happy and Sad Boxes project, as we believe in a just society and providing support systems so that every child can thrive. Initiated as a pilot project in May 2015, TFFT’s Happy and Sad Boxes aim to improve the protection of children’s rights in school environments. This project both educates students on what children’s rights are and allows a safe way to report positive practices and rights violations. Our Psychosocial & Health Program completed an evaluation in December and found overall positive outcomes as a result of training teachers on children’s rights and protection and implementing Happy and Sad Boxes in 15 schools.

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Happy and Sad Boxes build students’ confidence, encourage reporting child rights violations, and facilitate taking action against any rights violations. The project has also improved relationships between teachers and students by strengthening trust. Within each school, the Happy and Sad Boxes are sustainable as teachers and students have the skills and knowledge to correctly carry out the project. However, TFFT’s evaluation found that there are gaps in knowledge about the project with parents in the communities, which must be bridged.

When teachers receive reports of rights violations through the Happy and Sad Boxes, they either make a follow-up to the homes from which students have reported cases or call the parents to the school to discuss the issue. If they are unable to reach a conclusion through a meeting with the parents called upon, the school might involve social welfare officers to investigate the reported cases. Some challenges with taking action against rights violations include uncooperative parents, false information, and economic hardship.

In order to ensure success upon scale-up of the Happy and Sad Boxes, we aim to improve the information monitoring system by more clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of the child protectors (adults, such as teachers, parents, and community members). For the time-being, TFFT will work on improving the Happy and Sad boxes in the pilot schools for another year before expanding the project.

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2017-01-06T12:50:32+00:00