MEMBERS of SAFENET are embarking on a week-long training program that will introduce them to the standard operating procedures of the referral system, and help build their professional capacity to respond to the needs of their clients.
This workshop, which started on Monday, was the first of its kind to bring together members of SAFENET who are tasked with providing services and attending to the needs of people, mainly women and children, that face situations of violence in their lives.
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA), Ethel Sigimanu hailed the training as an important milestone in the history of SAFENET since memberssigned the Memorandum of Understanding early last year to work together in a systematic referral system.
“Violence against women and girls is a real concern in this country,” Mrs Sigimanu said.
“Every day in the news media you hear harrowing stories of women and children who suffer atthe hands of abusers –often the offender is a close relative of the victim.
“The work of SAFENET is important to make sure these survivors of violence receive the care and healing that is needed,” she said.
A capacity diagnostics workshop that identified the gaps in the referral system was conducted in November last year.
During this participatory workshop, the SAFENET members identified a number of priority areas that need to be addressed, including strengthening coordination within the system, building the capacity and improving communication skills of service providers, as well as training on burnout prevention.
Over 30participants from the five SAFENET member organisations will attend this capacity building workshop.
The five organisations that comprise SAFENET include the Family Support Center, the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the Christian Care Centre, and the Public Solicitor’s Office.
This workshop was made possible with support from the World Bank through the Improving Services for Victims of Gender Based Violenceproject being implemented by MWYCFA.
Under this project, MWYCFA recruited a technical assistant renowned for her work in the area of gender based violence in other parts of the world, including conflict affected states in Africa.
The consultant Kathy Cusack has worked closely with the Gender Based Violence Program Coordinator, Nashley Vozoto, and members of SAFENET over the last four weeks to strengthen their response procedures and referral mechanisms.
Ms Cusack will deliver the inaugural ‘SAFENET Orientation & Training’ workshop, which started yesterday and continue until this Friday.
Ms Sigimanu encouraged participants of the workshop to “make use of this unique training opportunity to build your capacity, strengthen coordination and improve those services that can make a real difference to the lives of people who are living with fear in dangerous situations”.