From 18 to 22 June 2013 in Guadarrama (Spain) 20 participants from 7 different European NSOs/NSAs met for the official kick-off meeting of the project: "Safe from Harm! Creating a safe environment for children and young people in Europe". The project has been made possible thanks to the financial support of the DAPHNE III programme of the European Union and coordinated by the World Scout Bureau - European Regional Office.
The project continues the very valuable work already developed in Scouting under the frame of Safe from Harm by addressing the question of harmful practices and violence against children and young people in the setting of youth organisations. Scouting is a youth movement providing a safe environment for children and young people participating in its activities but harmful practices and violence can though happen, inside or outside Scouting.
The identified target audience of the project are Scout Leaders, as they are the primarily link to children and young people in order to raise their awareness as well as equip them with the necessary skills, knowledge and competences to prevent harmful practices within Scouting and know how to address violence happening outside the youth movement - to ensure that they will provide a safe environment.
The project includes NSOs/NSAs from Spain, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Lithuania, Slovakia and Cyprus. Over 19 months, the project will involve as direct beneficiaries around 765 participants and potentially, considering the changes to happen in the leader training at the national level, 30 000 leaders across Europe. The project will ensure a quality, relevant and insightful output by combining European and national approaches. In fact it wants to facilitate the delivery of tailor-made policies or tools for each partner, to fit and answer the needs and the specificities of each of them; the European added value is necessary to broaden the understanding, use the practices in place in other countries and adapt to ever changing societies.
In the first European Meeting that took place recently in Spain, the partners had the opportunity to start developing a common ground on the topic of child protection in Scouting, identify the existing needs and challenges, share best practices already in place and design national projects. During the summer each partner will work in its country to implement national activities and they will gather again for a mid term European meeting in Slovakia at the end of November.
It will be possible to find all the information about the project on the website that is going to be launched soon: www.safefromharm.eu
As mentioned before the project is financially supported by the DAPHNE III programme of the European Union that awarded a grant to the European Regional Office to run the project together with the partners until August 2014. All the results of the project will be widely shared by all the other NSOs/NSAs of WOSM by communication channels and direct presence of the project staff of Safe from Harm! at events such as the European Scout Conference, the World Scout Education Congress and other regional and world events. If you want to know more about the project and its features do not hesitate to contact the Safe from Harm! Project Manager Nicolò Pranzini.