“As the Child Protection Officer [CPO], my role primarily is as the first point of contact for any safeguarding/child abuse concerns. In close liaison with the school Director, I am responsible for hearing, managing, documenting, and coordinating an initial inquiry. Should an investigation highlight continued enquiry, I am also responsible for communicating, as relevant, with the wider Child Protection Team, whose members include the school Counsellors, School Nurse, Principals, ICT Director, Athletics Director, Elementary/ Secondary School faculty member, and Human Resource Manager, as well as referral to other agencies as necessary.
The Response Team is initiated from any one of the CP Team members, dependent on the disclosure, wherever there is reasonable cause to respond to an allegation, and is only undertaken following the gathering of information, and in close communication with the School Director.
As the CPO, I am also responsible for ensuring on-going faculty and student Child Protection training, community awareness, and the continual updating and development of Child Protection / Safeguarding Procedures.
Harare International School is committed to Child Protection
Harare International School is committed to Child Protection. As such, procedures have been developed to guide our staff and families in matters related to the health, safety, and care of children in attendance at our school. It is with the support of our School Board that I remind our community about this critical issue. The HIS Child Protection is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Zimbabwe is a signatory.
We want to draw your attention to two key articles:
Article 19 – Protection from abuse and neglect. “…protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s), or any other person who has care of the child.
Article 34 – Sexual exploitation. “…shall undertake to protect children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.”
By enrolling your child at HIS, you agree to work in partnership with the school and abide by the procedures adopted by HIS. We genuinely value our partnership with you in providing for the safety and care of your children. As part of our overall educational programs and specific to our shared responsibility to educate children, to protect them, and to learn and grow in a safe environment.
HIS approaches Child Protection in the following ways:
We thank you for your support towards our commitment to Child Protection efforts and invite you to contact our Child Protection Officer, your school Counsellor, the relevant Principal, or myself with any questions you may have.