About Childline

Childline Zimbabwe is a registered Private voluntary Organization registered under the laws of Zimbabwe. Childline aims to develop a new website that will provide corporate information targeted at donors, government and other stakeholders as well provide children with information about abuse and put them in touch with Childline. The scale of work involves developing a WordPress multisite platform hosting two separate but integrated entities aimed at these constituencies.

Mission

To respond to all children in distress, to counsel, comfort and protect all children in Zimbabwe through the provision of a free confidential 24 hour child helpline, free postal service and Drop-in Advice Centres; and to promote, foster and encourage the protection and care of all children in Zimbabwe.

Summary

Childline is a free, confidential counseling service for all children below the age of 18years. Childline is a child-focused, not-for-profit, apolitical, non-denominational, registered Private Voluntary Organisation (registration number PVO 7/2001) that provides therapeutic and educational services to children regardless of their socio-economic status or geographic location. Childline’s aim is to listen to, comfort and protection all children in Zimbabwe.

Our Story

In February 1997, Soroptimists International of Zimbabwe (Harare) W/O 54/67, an International Women’s Service organisation with members in 115 countries decided after consultation and moral support from the then Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, to establish Childline – Zimbabwe, to be run along similar lines to those agencies already operating in the UK, South Africa and elsewhere, but adapted to make it relevant and appropriate to Zimbabwe in the 21st Century. 

We are a child rights, not-for-profit, registered Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO 7/2001). Children (0-18years), access our services in Zimbabwe regardless of religious background, socio-economic circumstances or geographic location. Childline employs a rights-based approach throughout its activities addressing sexual and gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health issues given the nature of child abuse and its prevalence in Zimbabwe. We seek to provide children, families and those involved with children, preventative, educational, therapeutic and rehabilitation services in addition to research and advocacy.

We acknowledge that the family unit and parental guidance are of paramount importance and should be in the forefront of any decisions made regarding the welfare of children. However, when these systems fail Childline Zimbabwe stands in the gap.  We are here to listen, comfort and empower children with knowledge and information on the options available to them. By so doing, Childline enables children to make their own choices. 

Vision

To be a household name synonymous with the well-being of children throughout Zimbabwe, trusted and respected by all stakeholders.

Mission

  • To protect all children in Zimbabwe through the provision of a free confidential 24-hour Child Helpline, Free Post Service and Drop-In Centres; and 
  • To respond to all children in distress and promote, foster and encourage the protection and care of children in Zimbabwe.
R

Values

To be a household name synonymous with the well-being of children throughout Zimbabwe, trusted and respected by all stakeholders.

In an ideal world, there would be no need for Childline, but the world in which we find ourselves is far from ideal for any one of us. In any depressed economy, it is always the children who suffer the most severe effects. Childline Staff and volunteers work tirelessly with children, their families and concerned adults to ensure that every child has the opportunity to overcome distressing circumstances. We seek to rebuild broken bridges and reconnect broken lines of communication when they have occurred.

We believe children need to know that they are not alone.

Help Us Help Them

What Is Childline?

There has been much debate in the community about the relevance and/or need for Childline in Zimbabwean society. Others have felt that Childline is an imported Western concept that undermines the values and culture of the community.

In any culture throughout the world, the basic unit in any community is the family and rightly so. The most widely ratified United Nations Convention in the world, the Convention on The Rights of The Child, lays down in the first 41 articles the well known and accepted rights of identity, access to adequate food, shelter, health care and education. But children require more than that – they also need a stable, secure and loving environment in which to grow.

It is widely accepted that the importance of the child in Shona and Ndebele culture has been one of the cornerstones of the success of the culture over many hundreds of years, but society in Zimbabwe, as in the rest of the world, is constantly evolving and changing. 

Traditionally the concept of the family extends far beyond the nuclear unit and encompasses all relatives, and any one individual’s welfare is the concern of all family members, with assistance and support being freely given when required.

Current widespread economic hardships, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the impact of Western culture have all contributed to the increasing number of problems being faced by the family unit, not only in Zimbabwe. This has led to an increasing number of situations in which a family, however willing, is simply unable to cope with the extra burden often of caring for a deceased relative’s children. Alternative support systems have been viewed very much as a last resort, with the intervention of the state seen as an insult to the family.

The adoption by some of Western ‘values’ has led to a feeling that the state must take on the responsibility for caring for the children, but often even when the children are cared for by relatives there is great inequality in the way they are treated, even being relegated to little more than unpaid domestic workers

Childline is a free confidential multilingual helpline service which through it’s unique approach of Freepost, Free phone and the Drop in service aims to reach every child in Zimbabwe regardless of economic circumstances.

Childline acknowledges that the family unit and parental guidance are of paramount importance and should be in the forefront of any decisions made regarding the welfare of children. It is only when these systems fail that Childline has a role to play. Unfortunately, this is happening on an increasing basis, with the phones ringing approximately 200 times each day. Childline is not there to tell the children what they should or should not do, but is there to listen, comfort and explore the various options available and so enable them to make their own choice on the way forward.

In an ideal world, there would be no need for Childline, but the world in which we find ourselves is far from ideal for any one of us. 

About 25% of the letters and calls to Childline involve abuse in one of its many forms but even when the calls involve the worst imaginable cases of abuse, children show the most amazing capacity for forgiveness, and in the majority of cases, do not want to report the abuse, they just want the abuse to stop.

Rather than undermine family culture and values, Childline seeks to promote these values and to rebuild broken bridges and reconnect broken lines of communication when they have occurred.

Children whether or not they are in a family unit need to know that they are not alone. Sadly these numbers are growing and that is the reason for Childline’s existence.

Telephone Helpline

Call us on our free helpline

116

Free Post Service

Childline Freepost
Box CY 1400
Causeway
Harare

Online Counselling

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