NTUNGAMO – Ntungamo district has received equipment to boost operations of a helpline in a childcare centre.
The program under the ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development (GLSD) is supported by catholic relief agencies has equipped the district with a desktop computer, printer, desk phone, modem, chair and a table all of which will be manned by staff under the probation office.
While receiving the equipment at Ntungamo district headquarters in Ntungamo, the Deputy Chief Administrative officer Leonard Ahimbisibwe, commended the ministry and Catholic relief services for the initiative saying that the district is committed to ensuring that cases of child abuse are addressed.
Ahimbisibwe also called on all the district employees and leaders to jointly popularize the 116 toll-free number so that children can report the cases in their respective areas.
“Now that we have the equipment ready here, lets popuralise the number in a bid to care for the children and fight abuse in our society” Ahimbisibwe noted.
Smark Sengendo the project Information technology officer revealed that the platform is vital in tracking the cases right away from the day they are reported and up to when action is taken on them.
“The system will help us in tracking the progress of the cases and in areas where they are reported and how they are being handled” Sengendo added.
Antoinette Angwach the Uganda child helpline supervisor in the ministry of gender labour and social development revealed that the platform will be supported for a period of one year with airtime and internet after which Ntungamo district is expected to take it up fully for continuity.
With the helpline or Sauti (Swahili for ‘voice’) launched, officials and rights activists are optimistic that the wide-spread abuses of the country’s youngsters can be reined back.
Deprived access to education, food, basic healthcare, exploitative labour conditions, physical torture, sexual harassment, corporal punishment in schools, neglect and defilement are among the most forms of child abuses in the country.
By calling 116 (on all telephone networks), anyone can report any case of child abuse.
Once recorded at the national helpline centre (currently housed at Statistics House in Kampala), the information will be relayed to respective area action centers for quick response and emergency support services required to stop suspected child abuse.