CREATE (Child Rights Education in East Africa) is a high-quality child rights curriculum for professionals, helping to protect children from emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
Childhood should be a time of nurturing, play and learning in the family and school, free from responsibility or employment. Children shouldn’t face violence in their homes and communities, or in the health settings where they seek support and care.
Yet few professionals working with children are aware of the important role that they could and should play. Professionals can support children in their day to day practice, challenge and prevent rights violations (such as extreme poverty, discriminatory legislation and violence against children) and promote conditions supporting well-being, health and development for children.
In 2010, government representatives, professionals, NGOs and civil society groups from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda came together to agree a radically new and sustainable approach to child rights education. Based on the HEAT model CREATE embeds child rights resources directly within professionals’ core training.
Available both online and in print, the materials have been developed by local experts from all four countries. As open source materials, they can be freely accessed and adapted. Beginning with health workers, often a child’s first contact with professional services, CREATE’s resources can be adapted for teachers, the police and the military too.
CREATE aims fundamentally to change the way professionals work with children, helping to promote an environment in which they are better respected, protected and fulfilled. By changing attitudes amongst those responsible for children, CREATE can transform their lives.
The Open University’s key partners in CREATE are CRED-PRO, a child rights organisation with extensive experience in developing teaching materials, and MS-TCDC in Tanzania, a major provider of training in human rights and governance in East Africa.
CREATE is working collaboratively with the governments in all four countries, and with academic partners, UNICEF, civil society organisations and health professionals. Funding to date has been provided by the Oak Foundation.