Not here just to win
Not here just to win
Activities have begun in preparation for the 10th annual East Africa Cup and measures are being taken to ensure a safe environment.
Child Protection and safeguarding was a focus of Monday's activities, with catering staff, security personnel and team leaders attending focused workshops taught in English and Swahili.
Each participating team sent a team leader in advance for the days workshops, with the full teams arriving on Tuesday for the opening ceremony.
Team leaders are responsible for the welfare of all participants of their teams, acting as chaperones for twenty-four hours a day during the event. Today, a group attended a child protection and safeguarding training run by Save the Children Tanzania.
Relationships as a priority
The workshops focused on what physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, exploitation and bullying look like in different contexts, including Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
Team leaders felt as though they had a particular duty as role models to prevent emotional abuse. Tamrat from the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) said that although everyone who came to the event did so hoping to win, they are "50:50 to win, but they may lose". He went on to say that cultural exchanges and relationships developed should be the priority for all team coaches and participants.
Yolande Baker from Save the Children Tanzania said all adults should "not speak in a way that would belittle a child" and demonstrate good sportsmanship at all times.
Ensuring a safe environment
Attitudes and norms of adults were described as having an important impact on the safety and welfare of children. Corruption and cost were described as a major deterrent for reporting suspected abuse to police.
The East Africa Cup has made a commitment to investigate all suspected cases of harm; setting up child protection centres, distributing cards with phone numbers, ensuring all individuals in supervisory roles have signed a code of conduct and agreeing to the EAC child protection policy.
The card, which will be distributed to all participants has emergency numbers for individuals to get advice or assistance at anytime in English or Swahili. Also included are numbers for local counsellors who can also be contacted at any time.