Coalition for the Protection of Children
This organisation is a Centre on Philanthropy member
To serve as advocates for the protection of all children in Bermuda against abuse and neglect thought legislation, intervention, care, treatment and prevention. To educate, inform, loddy, monitor-evaluate programmes for children, set standards, minimum service requirements, advise government. To identify and advocate for allocation of resources to the most urgent needs.
The Coalition for the Protection of Children is a charitable foundation which was established in 1992 to address the need for a non-governmental organization to advocate on behalf of children and their families. The Coalition was instrumental in developing the New Protection of Children Legislation in 2000, successfully... Read More
The Coalition for the Protection of Children is a charitable foundation which was established in 1992 to address the need for a non-governmental organization to advocate on behalf of children and their families. The Coalition was instrumental in developing the New Protection of Children Legislation in 2000, successfully lobbied for new day care regulations and established the Inter Agency Planning Committee for Children.
The Coalition later expanded into service providing efforts to meet the growing needs of Bermudian children and their families. Throughout its existence, the Coalition has provided a broad range of services which have included intervention and treatment, family support and aftercare, a child abuse hotline, food assistance and free Breakfast programs at public schools.
The Coalition also works with its partner organization, The Centre for Community and Family Mediation to provide peer mediation programs, professional development training in conflict resolution in addition to offering affordable community and family mediation Services.
A Focus on Advocacy
The Coalition’s primary mandate is to advocate for and on behalf of Bermuda’s most vulnerable children and their families to ensure that these children grow up in a safe and nurturing environment, with adequate housing, nutritious food and an empowering range of opportunities commensurate with... Read More
A Focus on Advocacy
The Coalition’s primary mandate is to advocate for and on behalf of Bermuda’s most vulnerable children and their families to ensure that these children grow up in a safe and nurturing environment, with adequate housing, nutritious food and an empowering range of opportunities commensurate with those in the wider community. Our recent focus is largely centered on issues of poverty. Our objective is to raise awareness and understanding of the causes and consequences of living in poverty in Bermuda as well as the everyday struggles for low-income and working class families. Currently, the number of people living at or below the poverty line is over 3,600 Bermudian households and encompasses 30% of Black Bermudian children. In a country that boasts one of the highest levels of per-capita income globally, this is unacceptable.
The unfortunate consequence of this reality is the dramatic increase in crime, and in particular gun murders. Bermuda now has violent crime rates that are 10 times that of the United States and 20 times that of the United Kingdom. Between 2009 and 2010 alone there was a tripling of firearm incidents. This phenomenon demonstrates the clear link between income inequity, poverty, drug abuse and violent crime and what we are confronting today is a ,perfect storm, of social, psychological, and economic issues that must be understood in order to effectively address our crime problem.
Our objective is to transform the assumptions held by many as to why particular individuals-families struggle or live in poverty and what needs to be done to reduce the gap between the wealthy and the poor on our island. Our hope in doing so is to affect the social and political will to seriously address the problem by implementing substantive changes that combat the root causes of Bermuda’s social ills.
In addition to the advocacy work of the Coalition, 4 services are offered to families in need. These include the Breakfast for Every Child program, the food storehouse, family and community mediation services and peer mediation training.
Breakfast for Every Child Program:
The Coalition for the Protection of Children has spearheaded efforts to ensure that underprivileged children in Bermuda start the day ready to learn through its “Breakfast for Every Child” program. In fact, for a number of children, our program provides the only consistent, full balanced meal they receive on a daily basis. The need for the continuation of the “Breakfast for Every Child” is increasingly clear with record numbers of low-income families staring into bare kitchen cupboards as food prices continue to soar. We have witnessed a three-fold increase in the number of families seeking assistance from the Coalition.
The CPC has a non-perishables food storehouse which is stocked with basic food items such as pasta & sauce, rice, canned vegetables, cereal, corned beef, peanut butter and canned tuna. Parents-in-need, predominantly single mothers, visit the Coalition when their cupboards are bare to collect the groceries. We currently assist well over 100 families per month and the numbers have been rising significantly in recent times. The CPC uses our food assistance programs to motivate clients to attend our range of developmental programs and counseling services. When mothers arrive at the CPC to collect food for their families, our intake process involves assessment of their current circumstances, their needs and the development of individual program strategies. This may involve assistance in upgrading skills or attaining a GED, budget management and other forms of support. Thus, our food storehouse is a primary vehicle through which we can engage mothers in a process of empowerment, continued education, improved child care, better money management, improved relationships and a better understanding of the importance of well balanced meal planning. Our objective is to provide a range of services that will alter the trajectory toward a self sufficient and healthy family experience for the children.
The Centre for Community and Family Mediation:
The Center for Community and Family Mediation is a subsidiary organization of the CPC which offers subsidized or free mediation services, available to anyone who wishes to resolve their conflicts in a less damaging and more constructive manner. The approach to mediation is a transformative one, where clients are encouraging through supported dialogue to resolve their conflicts thereby transforming the negative nature of conflict. Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process that promotes open and respectful communication with the assistance of an impartial third party who is the mediator. The benefits of mediation are many and include elements such as party self-determination, increased self-awareness, relationship-building-restoration and emotional acknowledgement.
Peer Mediation Training
In the face of rising anti-social behavior and violence across the island, Bermudian youth are increasingly attempting to resolve conflict with anger, hostility and violent fighting. School communities regularly report school-ground incidences of violent behavior and more support is required to help guide students away from these trends. Peer Mediation training aims to teach and promote alternative dispute resolution techniques to young Bermudians so that they can learn the resolve conflicts through dialogue and understanding instead of resorting to anger and violence.
Peer mediation is a negotiation-based strategy that teaches student mediators alternative techniques to resolve conflict among their peers such as communication skills, problem solving skills and critical thinking. It is a process where students of similar age-range act as an impartial third party to facilitate resolving disputes, helping their peers to agree on a win-win solution. Peer mediation encourages Bermudian youth to take an active role in looking constructively at finding peaceful solutions to their problems. It can change the way students understand and resolve conflict in their lives, leading to improved student attitude toward process of negotiation and dialogue. It frequently result in a reduction of in-school violence and resulting disciplinary actions thereby improving school climate for learning by creating a more positive community.