CSA Awareness Training
In mid-August, we at Forca Goa Foundation hosted a five day Child Sexual Abuse Awareness and Personal Safety Education workshop for 16 of our grassroots coaches. The workshop was conducted by Arpan, a leading NGO that specializes in Personal Safety Education for young people and conducting awareness programs for Child Sexual Abuse.
The Foundation worked with over 8000 children and with around 1000 kids on a regular basis at our grassroots centers so it’s imperative that our coaches are sensitive and aware of child abuse and how to address situations they might come across.
The five-day intensive program started out by educating the coaches about child development and different stages of growth. The course then guided them through understanding the difference between sex and gender and the different gender biases that are prevalent in society. Understanding the difference between sex is gender was extremely important as it showed us how we all have deep-rooted gender biases and how we structure gender roles based on societal needs. We also learned how these biases are then further propagated and passed down unknowingly to the children through our actions and behavior.
The next part of the course deep dived into child sexual abuse and all the different aspects of abuse. This section demonstrated how vulnerable children are to sexual assault and why they find it difficult to talk or deal with abuse. Through activities and demonstrations, the coaches were made aware of what actually constitutes sexual abuse and how to understand and work with survivors of abuse.
They were also shown various films depicting child sexual abuse and the trauma that a child undergoes at the hands of his/her abuser. This was done so the coaches learned to identify symptoms and behavioral patterns and report child sexual abuse. The coaches were taught how to respond to a child who has been abused and to handle survivors of abuse with kindness and empathy.
The coaches were also taken through the different bodies and laws constituted by the government to protect children rights.
The course ended with the coaches delivering mock awareness sessions to batches of 9-year-olds, 14-year-olds and parents/teachers. This was done so that the coaches are prepared to go out into the community and deliver these vital messages and spread awareness.
Forca Goa Foundation believes that our coaches are not just coaches but role models and leaders of our communities. In this regard, the foundation aims to keep building the capacity of the coaches so that they have the skills and confidence to develop the children into future leaders.
Making the football pitch a safe space for all children is one of the foundation’s primary goals. Empowering coaches to be more empathetic to the children they work with will go a long way in identifying and preventing sexual abuse.