Land Of Hope United Against Superstition /African Children’s Aid Education and Development Foundation (ACAEDF) are non-profit organizations committed to work with vulnerable children in Africa and give them HOPE for a better future. ACAEDF/LOH envisions an African society that is free from all forms of abuse, especially witchcraft stigmatization against children and the promotion of child’s rights and development in its entire ACAEDF/LOH believes that vulnerable children need to be loved and cherished and not discriminated against. ACAEDF/LOH upholds that the best interest of the Child is paramount and will strive to promote the general well being of the child in everything it does. It believes that all forms of abuse and exploitation suffered by children are unacceptable and must be discontinued.

The organization accepts that steps must be taken to protect children from those adults who might abuse their trust and access to them through the organization’s work.

The possibility of Trustees, staff, Volunteers, donors, visitors, contractors or partners abusing children is on which the organization takes seriously and is committed to working to prevent ACAEDF/LOH works with stigmatized and other vulnerable children who have a particular set of vulnerabilities. Many children have faced serious level of abuses due to the belief in child witchcraft or other similar superstitions. ACAEDF/LOH recognize that the belief in child witches is very sensitive and complex subjects are with a number of often deeply conflicting and subjective views held by different stakeholders. Experiences have taught the organization about the importance of listening carefully and acknowledge the validity of all sides of the debate. ACAEDF/LOH does not wish for our work to contribute towards the deionization of any particular community but feels that is our duty to publicize and challenge the gross violations of child rights that often take place due to the belief in child witches. As such, ACAEDF/ LOH set out its stance underneath:

ACAEDF/ LOH does not believe that children can be witches and not its concern with proving or disproving the existence or non-existence of witchcrafts but however works to engage positive change on the way children should be treated using Love and tolerance. ACAEDF/ LOH recognize the inherent right to freedom of religion and belief unless in the instance that the belief infringes upon the rights, safety, welfare, development or quality of life of the child. Accordingly, all its staff members, volunteers, partners and contractors will be expected to assume this fundamental position which is that; a child cannot be a witch. Child protection is a corporate and an individual responsibility. All staff will be made familiar with this policy and will implement it in all that ACAEDF/ LOH does. Associations with anyone and partnerships with any agency found to be stigmatizing the child or engaging in any kind of abusive and explorative relationships with children will be broken. All interactions with children should be carried out with the best interest of the child at heart and should be grounded in the principles contained within the UNCRC.


Children: – For the purpose of this policy, “child or children includes all people under the age of 18 years old as defined in the UN Convention for the Rights of the Child, without prejudice to the Akwa Ibom Child Rights Law which defines children as being persons under the age of 16.

Child Safeguarding: – This refers to the general promotion of the wellbeing of a child. Safeguarding children is about recognizing that the best interest of the child is paramount. ACAEDF/ LOH personnel will do all we can to ensure that the rights of children are fully upheld and that children are effectively empowered to claim these rights. Safeguarding is broader than child protection, because it is about more than just preventing children from harm.

Young People: young people are people between the ages of 12 and 24 who are still dependent on parents and or guardians.

Child Protection: -This refers to protecting a child from or preventing all forms of abuse, neglect or harm.

Child Abuse- or maltreatment: – this has to do with sets of activities done or failed to have been done by a person, group of persons or institutions that directly or indirectly inflicts and or has the potential of inflicting harm on a child. Hence, hampers a healthy process of the child development. Abuses include but not limited to; Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Neglect/Negligent Treatment and Sexual Abuse/Sexual and Commercial Exploitation.

Director of Child Development (Child Development Officer-CDO):- An officer who has a detailed understanding of the child safeguarding policy, will work to ensure that the policy is followed us to the later, ensures that the rights of the child are not infringed upon, and that the origin procedure is followed at all times. The CDO needs to be proactive and responsive to issues of safeguarding the child’s rights and will be responsible for ensuring that all staff and volunteers are trained in the child.

Note: All staff members are responsible for the welfare of children and for ensuring that they understand and implement the child safeguarding policy. The CDO will simply oversee this process.

SECTION 1 - Recruitment and Training

  1. All prospective employees, volunteers and board members will be informed of ACAEDF/LOH child Safeguarding policy from the date of adoption of this policy. They will be asked to sign the child protection declaration as part of the recruitment process (Appendix B).
  2. Where possible, the Child Development Officer (CDO) will be a member of the interview panel when ACAEDF is recruiting for a staff member or volunteer. Where this is not possible, the CDO should review the interview question prior to the interview, ensuring there are appropriate question which refer to ACAEDF/ LOH Child Safeguarding Policy.
  3. All staff, volunteers and board members will receive training about ACAEDF/ LOH’s Child Safeguarding Policy where possible. They will be given a copy of the policy and will be required to sign a declaration that they have received and understood the terms and condition therein. The Child Development Officer will give staff and volunteers periodic information (every 3 months) as reminded on the Child Safeguarding Policy. The CDO will ensure the policy is reviewed and updated at least once in each year period. Volunteers with ACAEDF/ LOH will be monitored by the CDO to ensure that confidential information concerning children is not misused. Where there are concerns, the CDO should whom the Executive Director, who will investigate further
  4. Individuals who are hired as independent contractors will be given a copy of ACAEDF/ LOH Child Safeguarding Policy and required to sign a declaration that they have received and understood it.
  5. Any member of staff, volunteer or board member about to have dealing with children for the first time will be interviewed by the Child Development Officer, to ensure his or her suitability for such interactions.
  6. Staff visiting the streets, villages and communities for prolonged periods with children, including overseas volunteers, will be given an additional briefing by the Child Development Officer or any designed staff by him/her.

SECTION 2 - Behavior Protocols

Behavior protocols are rules of appropriate and proper behavior, which are designed to protect children but are also intended to protect adults from false accusations of inappropriate behavior or abuse. These protocols apply to employees, volunteers, board members, contractors, sponsors and any visitors of ACAEDF/ LOH ‘s projects.
  1. ACAEDF/ LOH personnel and visitors must not stay alone overnight with one or more children, whether in staff accommodation, project premises or elsewhere except in hospitals or where the staff acts as a carer for such child/children. Where children are staying overnight in a temporary accommodation/facility, staff must sweep in staff quarters. Where children are in ACAEDF/ LOH accommodation facility, they share dormitories with other children of the same age, group and gender.
  2. ACAEDF/ LOH personnel and visitors must not hire children as “house help” or provide shelter for children in their homes
  3. ACAEDF/ LOH personnel and visitor must not fondle kiss, hug or touch children in an inappropriate way. To avoid misunderstanding, it is recommended that appropriate touch such as hand-holding should be initiated by the child.
  4. Where possible and practical, the “two-adult” rule, wherein two or more personnel supervise all activities where children are involved and are present at all times, should be followed. In the evant that a staff member is alone with a child, another staff member must be informed of their location, the reason for lone working and the expected duration of the work. In this instance, the staff, member must find a public place to be with the child. Where alone working is taking place, the staff member should be contacted regularly by another staff in comber to ensure everything is okay. Under no circumstances should a staff member be alone in a private location with a child including a child’s house where a parent or guardians is at present. A staff member should not as much as possible carryout lone working with a child, mostly of the opposite sex. Nb. In Major event, however if there are no co- adult to walk with, an adult should at all times stay with at least 3 children in private i.e. (in case of interviewing a child or conducting normal official duties). Most of these children at such point in time should be bigger children.
  5. In the event ACAEDF/ LOH is providing transport to a child or children in a car, the “two-adult” rule should be applied. Where this is not possible, the staff member should notify a colleague about what they are talking the children and how long they will be. “Where there is only one child in the car, they should sit in the back sent, diagonally opposite the driver. If the staff member is dropping children off at multiple locations, they should give though to the child being dropped off last. If possible, the child dropped off last should be a member of the same sex and in the back seat of the car. Where repeated transport is given to the same children, ACAEDF/LOH should alter the staff member who will drive the car and the order in which child on are taken to their designated locations.
  6. ACAEDF/LOH’S personnel need to be aware that they may work with children who, because of the circumstances and abuses they have experienced, may use a relationship to obtain “special attention”. The adult always considered responsible even if a child behaves seductively. Adult should avoid being placed in a compromising or vulnerable position. Where a child is demonstrating seductive or sexual behavior towards a particular member of staff, where possible, the staff member should be made unavailable to the child. Adult should take particular care to ensure that the “two-adult” rule applies to children displaying this kind of behavior.
  7. ACAEDF/LOH will not tolerate any form of physical, sexual, emotional or spiritual abuse perpetrated by any BOT members, contractor, staff, volunteer or anyone who comes across a child.
  8. ACAEDF/LOH will strive all times to educate children about appropriate relationship between each other. When children are participating in ACAEDF/LOH projects or activities, they will be prevented from playing sexually provocative or violent games with each other.
  9. ACAEDF/LOH staff and volunteers must not use inappropriate language or language of an adult nature towards children. ACAEDF/LOH personnel must be mindful not to disclose personal information to a child, particularly where it may worry or burden the child. Personnel should also avoid disclosing the location of their house, their personal telephone number or email address where possible.
  10. Staff and volunteers must not give alcohol, cigarettes, illegal drugs, pornography or any inappropriate video to a child. Where staff members have devices that contain such information ACAEDF/LOH personnel should not make these devices available for the children
  11. ACAEDF/LOH staff and volunteers must not perform for a child any task of a personal nature which the child can do by themselves except where necessary (this includes assisting them with going to the toilet, washing or bathing a child or getting them dressed). Where children need assistance with such tasks, staff should strive to encourage them to learn these tasks independently at the earliest possible opportunity. Children such as those who are very young or those with disabilities, who require help with personal task, should only be assisted by staff of the same sex, except where the staff is a carer for the child.
  12. Any child who has contact with ACAEDF/LOH will be told what they can/do expect from ACAEDF/LOH personnel and what action they must take if they do not feel safe with Members of the organization. They will also be told who to go to if another child tells them something which they feel worried about.
  13. ACAEDF/LOH staff and volunteers should be mindful of the physical environment of the project sites and take all possible actions to mitigate against harm, injury or risk to the child.
  14. ACAEDF/LOH will not discriminate against any CHILD regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, economic status, health or background.
  15. Many of the stigmatized children ACAEDF/LOH work with will have endured long periods of physical, emotional and psychological abuse and will have come to believe that they are indeed witches. ACAEDF/LOH personnel must do all they can to make the child understand that ACAEDF/LOH does not believe that he/she is a witch and instead feel that he/she is a normal child:
  16. Favoritism towards certain children should be avoided at all costs.
  17. The right of the child to decide whether they wish to access support services should be respected. Staff should only give options for children to make informed decisions except where their decisions would cause serious harm or danger.

SECTION 3 - Procedures for Reporting Suspected or Actual Abuse of Children

  1. Should ACAEDF/LOH staff, BOT members, or member of volunteer, receive any information about, or observe, actual or suspected abuse or risk of abuse by a staff, volunteer, contractor, or member of the public at a project site, he or she must immediately inform the CHILD Development Officer.
  2. Where the concern is about ACAEDF/LOH personnel, the Executive Director should also be informed. Where a child protection allegation against ACAEDF/LOH personnel has been made, the CDO will conduct an investigation, together with the Executive Director
  3. Where the Executive Director is accused of any suspected or actual abuse, the CDO must inform the Board of Trustees and together they will carry out an investigation. Where appropriate the matter will be referred to external bodies such as the Police or the local Attorney General for further investigation.
  4. In the event that the CDO has been accused of suspected or actual abuse of a child the Director/Board of Trustees will carry out an investigation or may enlist an independent agency to conduct the investigation instead.
  5. Where the allegation of suspected or actual abuse is against a member of the public, the police or other appropriate agency will be informed.
  6. ACAEDF/LOH staff and volunteers have a duty to keep matters of child protection confidential but children must be made to understand, prior to them disclosing an information, that certain information may need to be shared with other staff, if the child does not want to share something confidential because of this reason, his/her wish should be respected. A child will never be forced to share something that they do not wish to.
  7. If a child discloses any information relating to child protection, it should be written down at the earliest opportunity using the child’s own words, signed, dated and passed to the Child Development Officer who will read it, act upon it if necessary and store the information in a confidential child protection file. This information must not be passed on to other staff members unless CDO feels it is in the child’s best interest to do so. This information must never be passed on to another child.
  8. If a child discloses any Information relating to child protection, the child must not be asked any leading questions, by the staff member. Questions of the nature may compromise an investigation or court proceedings at a later date.
  9. If a child discloses any information relating to child protection, the staff member should respond in calm and matured way. Listening to and documenting the child’s story and details in a kind, caring and patient manner will help to build up a relationship of trust and respect. ACAEDF/LOH personnel should not show shock, horror or disappointment at a disclosure.
  10. The use of cane on the children is highly prohibited. ACAEDF/LOH strongly believe that continuous show of love, counseling, tolerance, encouragement and showing good examples are the best tools for change.
  11. ACAEDF/LOH personnel must never accuse a child of lying about a child protection-related matter
  12. ACAEDF/LOH personnel must never make promises to a child that they not be able to keep.
  13. If a staff member feels unable to deal appropriately with or listen to a disclosure, they should stop the child at the earliest opportunity and explain that they will go and get an adult who will be better able to help them. In this instance the Child Development Officer must be called upon. If the CDO is not available, the most senior member of staff should step in. ACAEDF/LOH is aware that some disclosures may cause staff personal distress.
  14. Information disclosed a member of staff should only be shared with the Child Development Officer and if needs be, the Executive Director. This means that the child protection filo must be stored in a secure place and will only be available to the CDO, Executive Director and Board of Trustees. Information stored in the child protection file should not be thrown away, even after contact with the child has ceased. (Child protection cases may be brought to court years after the child first disclosed their information and testimonies such as these can be vital to a case).
  15. If a child discloses any information relating to child protection, they must be told what will happen next and who else will be informed. The child must be kept informed of what is happening with regards to the information they disclosed. The child must be told that they can ask questions Whenever they need to with regards to the information they have shared.
  16. ACAEDF/LOH staff or volunteers suspected of breaching the Child Safeguarding Policy in any way will be suspended for the duration of the investigation.
  17. Where a staff member or volunteer has been found to breach ACAEDF/LOH’s Child Safeguarding Policy this may result in dismissal.
  18. ACAEDF/LOH staff will be available to accompany children to the police station or court proceedings when required. ACAEDF/LOH personnel will not coerce or force a child into testifying against a perpetrator of child abuse.
  19. Police, social welfare teams and any other relevant government agencies should be informed of each individual childs case at every opportunity, providing this is appropriate.
  20. In dealing with a perpetrator of abuse towards the child It ls essential to remain calm at all times and never to allow situations to become emotional charged. Where possible try to ensure a police officer is present and that the child does not become exposed to discussions regarding his/her perceived status as a witch. It will often be in the best interest of the child remove them from any conversation or dealings ACAEDF/LOH has with the perpetrator of the child’s abuse.

SECTION 4 - Communication about children

  1. communications about children if it involves pictures should be pictures that are decent and respectful, not presenting them as victims. Children should be adequately clothed and poses that could be interpreted as sexual suggestive or violent must be avoided. However, we also recognize that there are times when children are in reality victims, for example of physical torture, in such cases the child’s dignity should be preserved whilst presenting the reality. This can be done by using a before and after photographs where possible.
  2. Websites, social media pages and other promotional materials should not use scanned images of the children without formal written permission from each child, where a child is not of a consenting age, the parent/guardian or the organization must give such consent on behalf of the child.
  3. Individuals or organizations requesting the use of ACAEDF/LOH’s materials such as videos, photographs and or any other document having ACAEDF information must sign an agreement with ACAEDF/LOH as to proper use of such materials. The agreement will include a statement that any use of such materials for purpose other than what is agreed upon could subject the borrowing individual or organization to legal action. Furthermore, failure to adhere to the agreed use of the material will result in immediate termination of the individual or organization’s permission to use the subject materials and/or require the immediate return of all materials provided by ACAEDF/LOH as well as any copies of such materials.
  4. When communicating information about a child using photographs to publicize the work the organization does, ACAEDF/LOH will avoid language which is degrading or shaming
  5. ACAEDF/LOH staff and volunteers must ensure that confidential information concerning a child is not misused. It is required that each employee, volunteer and consultant employed by or otherwise associated with ACAEDF/LOH, whether or not engaged or to be engaged in the performance of a federal government grant or contract be given and acknowledge receipt of a copy of this policy. It is a condition of employment at the ACAEDF/LOH; each recipient abides by the terms of this policy.


My full attention has been drawn to the provisions of the ACAEDF/LOH Child Safeguarding Policy and I am fully aware of the serious consequences which may follow any breach of these provisions.

I understand the sections of the Child Safeguarding Policy as administered to me by hand (hard-copy), through email (soft-copy) or through audio message, I am aware that I should not divulge any information gained by me as a result of my engagement with ACAEDF/LOH through consultancy, research and /or any other related official activity to any unauthorized person, other than as stated in the CSP; either orally or in writing, without the previous official sanction in writing of ACAEDF/LOH, to which written application should be made and two copies of the proposed publication be forwarded. I understand also that I am liable to be prosecuted if I breach the provisions of the CSP and/or publish without official sanction any information I may gain in the course of my engagement with ACAEDF/LOH (unless it has already officially been made public) or retain without official sanction any child related data or official documents which are no longer needed for my official duties, and that these provisions apply not only during the period of my engagement but also after my engagement has ceased.

Name: Tina Riggeren Loven (Personnel in-charge of the Code of Conduct on the official website)