Safeguarding Children’s Welfare: Bridge International Academies’ Commitment to CSAK

Among Bridge international Academies initiatives aimed at driving positive change is the establishment of the Child Safeguarding Association of Kenya (CSAK), a landmark initiative that was officially launched on January 31st 2024. CSAK, was founded by Bridge International Academies, Tunza Safeguarding, Mtoto News, MSF, Ujamaa Africa and other key stakeholders, to strengthen systems to safeguard children across the country.

The Guest of Honor, Esther M. Passaris, the Nairobi County Women Rep, graced the occasion, noting that CSAK is the first-ever child safeguarding association established in Kenya. She went on to reiterate the importance of government and CSOs collaborating to achieve common objectives, rather than competing or seeing each other as enemies. “The problems are dire. As a government, we recognize the essential role of civil society.”

The women rep then gave an example of successful collaboration of Bridge International Academies (BIA) which saw a gap in the education sector and stepped in to meet the need. “Bridge, your initiatives in schools can help alleviate congestion. Together, we can learn from each other and make a positive impact. This country belongs to all of us, and it’s our opportunity to create positive change. As representatives of the people, we cannot succeed without your support,” she added.

CSAK is dedicated to creating safe and supportive environments for children, both within BIA schools and the broader communities they serve.

Speaking during the CSAK launch, Lillian Wamuyu, Director – Gender and Child Empowerment, Bridge International Academies, and CSAK Founding Member said, “Bridge International Academies has a robust set of policies in place for safeguarding, involving parents, teachers, the wider community, and students in the process. However, we recognize that we cannot achieve this alone. There is strength in collaboration. That’s why we joined and helped form CSAK, and we encourage others to join us in making a difference and supporting this vital cause.”

At the core of BIA’s educational model lies a commitment to safeguarding children’s welfare in all aspects of their learning journey. This encompasses the following measures and practices implemented across its schools to ensure a safe and conducive environment for children to thrive:

1. Comprehensive Child Protection Policies: BIA has developed robust policies that outline clear guidelines and procedures for safeguarding children from harm. These policies are communicated to all stakeholders, including staff, students, and parents, to ensure collective responsibility in upholding child welfare standards.
2. Training and Capacity Building: BIA invests in training programs to equip its staff with the knowledge and skills to effectively identify and respond to safeguarding concerns. Training sessions cover topics such as child protection protocols, recognizing signs of abuse, and appropriate reporting procedures.
3. Community Engagement: BIA recognizes the importance of community involvement in safeguarding children’s welfare. Through initiatives such as parent-teacher associations and community outreach programs, BIA fosters collaboration with parents and local stakeholders to create a supportive network for children’s well-being.
4. Holistic Support Services: In addition to academic education, BIA provides holistic support services to address the diverse needs of children. This includes access to healthcare, nutrition programs, and psychosocial support, ensuring that children’s overall well-being is prioritized.
5. Continuous Monitoring and Evaluation: BIA regularly monitors and evaluates its safeguarding efforts to identify areas for improvement and ensure compliance with established standards. This involves conducting regular audits, collecting feedback from stakeholders, and implementing corrective measures as needed.

Impact and Future Direction
The concerted efforts of BIA and other initiatives like CSAK have yielded tangible results in safeguarding children’s welfare within the education space. By prioritizing child protection and creating safe learning environments, BIA has enhanced the educational experience for children and contributed to their overall development and well-being.

Looking ahead, BIA remains committed to advancing our safeguarding efforts and driving positive change in the education sector. This includes expanding our reach to serve more communities, strengthening partnerships with stakeholders, and continually refining our practices to ensure the highest standards of child welfare are upheld.

Bridge International Academies’ dedication to safeguarding children’s welfare underscores its commitment to providing quality education in underserved communities. Through initiatives like the Child Safeguarding Association of Kenya (CSAK) and comprehensive safeguarding measures, BIA is paving the way for a brighter future where every child has the opportunity to thrive in a safe and supportive learning environment.

Click here to learn about the incredible journey that led to the birth of CSAK – an organization we are honored to be a part of.