Under the patronage of His Excellency Mr. Saad Hariri himaya NGO Launches “Dawwi 3al Ghalat” Awareness Campaign
Local NGO founded in 2008 with the mission of promoting an environment suitable for the development of children and ensuring their global protection via fighting and preventing abuse on Lebanese ground, himaya launched its awareness campaign “Dawwi 3al Ghalat” in a press conference, under the patronage of His Excellency Mr. Saad Hariri, on the 27th of September, at the Grand Serail, in the presence of the Minister of State for Women’s Affairs, Jean Ogasapian representing Prime Minister Mr. Saad Hariri, the Minister of Social Affairs, MP Pierre Bou Assi, Lebanese officials, celebrities, media representatives, and prominent Lebanese social figures. Because child abuse happens every day behind closed doors, the campaign aims to bring light into the darkness, by triggering people to report cases of child abuse.
The Minister of State for Women’s Affairs, Jean Ogasapian representing Prime Minister Mr. Saad Hariri expressed his thanks to mandate him to be the representative in this conference and said: “we appreciate and respect himaya NGO for its hard work as well as the achievements and success it realized and its contribution to save a lot of children from any type of abuse.”
He stressed on the huge support that the Prime Minister Mr. Saad Hariri has for this cause and for himaya particularly, encouraging all its members to continue what they are doing and realize more success.
The Minister of Social Affairs, MP Pierre Bou Assi, said that himaya shed the light on the reality of the Lebanese and humanitarian community. He also mentioned that violence exists all around the world, stressing that protecting children from violence is sacred and every effort should be exerted to help.
He added: “This phenomenon existed long time ago and we do not want to reach a state where society surrenders and stops addressing this issue. Yet the presence of associations such as himaya is helpful, whereby they fight the purposeful blackout by cooperating with civil associations and with the Ministry of Social Affairs and other concerned parties to provide all kinds of support to children. He insisted that the value of the human being is a great value by itself and continued by saying: “Some people took action to stop child abuse only for personal reasons, to avoid being affected by abusers’ problems, which is unacceptable, for child protection is our responsibility and it is the right of every child to be protected.”
Bou Assi pointed out that himaya’s approach, which the Ministry cherishes as a partner, is the best approach because it intensifies the orientation of the children so that children learn how to enforce their respect and prevent infringements, which contributes to building a healthy society.
He assured that the moment when we reach a verdict to isolate a child from his family is a hard decision, but sometimes this is inevitable to protect the child from violence.
In her welcome speech, Executive Director of himaya, Lama Yazbeck said: “During the last few years, himaya’s statistics showed that awareness encouraged people to report more abuse. Between 2016 and 2018, the number of individuals reporting abuse increased from 244 out of 1742 cases in 2016 to 332 out of 1176 cases in 2018 (until august 2018). Without the support of the society with all its components, reaching children victim of abuse would have been impossible. This is the objective of our campaign today. “Dawwi 3al Ghalat” also focuses on the importance of having all actors reporting and not hiding abuse when it happens: when abuse occurs within a family, school or any organization, we can only judge them for the way they respond to abuse and not hold them responsible for it occurring within their premises. The proper way would be of course to protect the victim and sanction the abuser. No more fear to “Dawwi 3al ghalat”.”
Glow-in-the-dark tattoos with the campaign’s logo “Dawwi 3al Ghalat” were distributed to all press conference’s attendees to put as a symbol of support, in addition to spreading the word by sharing on social media, the video produced by himaya following a cinema stunt, executed at a special fundraising screening of Capharnaüm movie, by renowned Lebanese director Nadine Labaki. The stunt features 10 kids of different ages and genders, representing any child who might be suffering of abuse. Moreover, an emotional call for action TVC is launched on all Lebanese televisions, in line with the campaign’s objective.
himaya NGO is dedicated to making child protection a right across Lebanon, aiming to break the silence by offering children the life skills they need to defend themselves. himaya also supports survivors of abuse and gives them the psychosocial support they need to overcome their experiences. In order to be as effective as possible, the NGO works with children, their families, and surroundings as a whole. It strives to make a change on a national level with the help of its two main programs: the prevention and resilience programs. It covers the entire Lebanese territory with offices in Zahle, Mount Lebanon, North Bekaa, Sidon and Tripoli.