Coming Soon! A great new initiative for the whole of Africa

Our week started with International Child Helpline Day, when we celebrated the great work our child helpline members around the world are doing, even in the face of the global Covid-19 pandemic that has affected everybody, everywhere. But our celebrations don’t stop there! Today, we’re delighted to announce an exciting partnership of great importance for our child helpline members across Africa, and for the children and young people who turn to them for help, comfort, support and protection.

We are incredibly proud to be joining the African Union, UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa and the UNICEF African Union Liaison Office in this partnership. Recognising our mutual aims to promote and protect children’s rights across the African Union Member States, we are coming together to strengthen child protection systems across the continent, and work towards further reducing the social risks and vulnerabilities that children and young people in Africa are facing.

Our programme for the coming two years will focus on establishing and promoting good practices throughout the region, as well as starting up new child helplines and scaling up those that are already operational. Objectives of our collaboration include:

  • Expanding the existing harmonised ‘116’ child helpline number, which is currently operational in 22 African countries, across the whole continent.
  • Creating a platform for knowledge exchange, and working with other international and regional partners, including the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights of the Child and Welfare of the Child.
  • Mobilising government support in strengthening existing child helplines and in creating new child helplines in those states where no such services yet exist.

The official launch of this fantastic collaboration is planned for 25 June 2021, during the online “African Girls Summit”. This summit will involve high-level delegation from the African Union Committee, as well as African Union Member States and child helplines from across the region!

Watch this space for more information!