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29 November

Saint Saturnius

Marist Calendar - November

FMSI: the “link” persons at work



Child Rights training workshop

29/10/2012: Papua New Guinea

Here is a testimony of how the “link” persons – the contact people for FMSI in the Administrative Unites of the Marist Institute – are fulfilling the potential of the Child Rights training workshop organized by FMSI from May 21 to June 2 2012. The testimony comes from Br. Christopher Lus, working in Papua New Guinea and Melanesia.

Since the two weeks course we had in Rome and Geneva, we have been asked to present a project plan of what we would like to carry out when we return to our provinces. My project plan was simply done locally within the District of Melanesia. My project comprised of running small awareness sessions on human rights, while the two days workshop on positive discipline with teachers was the main highlight. Part of my local advocacy was to assist with the development of the Child Protection Policy for our Ministry schools. My visits included Yangoru Youth Ministry (PNG), St Joseph Tenaru (Solomon Islands), St Marcellin Primary and St Dominic’s Rural Training Center (Solomon Islands), St Joseph’s College Mabiri (PNG) and St Michel High School, Santo (Vanuatu).

On the 27-28th August, teachers at St Michel High School, Santo, attended a two days workshop on Positive Discipline: What is it and how to do it! The workshop introduced the general knowledge of human rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child, history of its development and mechanism of the United Nations. The workshop saw teachers sharing their stories and challenges they face when working with students. Even though the official language was in French we manage to communicate well in Bislama.

The main highlight of the workshop was positive discipline on teachers:

* how do they emphasize the importance of changing cultural practices that contribute to violence against children, including the elimination of corporal punishment,

* Promoting a non-violent communication and relationship with children and building their skills in a non-violent discipline, problem solving and conflict resolution,

* Understanding the child’s development and making aware of children’s rights. Moreover, participants were encouraged to practice using the positive discipline tools in real situations. 

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