School of Child Protection


Originally Published on OMIWORLD.ORG

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Fr. Thomas Bang, OMI

Fr. Thomas BANG, an Oblate from the Province of Cameroon currently studying in Rome writes about an important course he recently completed about the protection of children. It was an online course and his “virtual classmate” was none other than the Provincial of the Anglo-Irish Province, Father Raymond WARREN..

The well-being of children has always been of great interest for the Church. (Canons 226 §2 and 1136 CIC andDe gravioribus delictisart. 6 §2). The issues of child abuse may not leave any church structure indifferent.

The Oblates of Mary Immaculate, advocates of the poor, the marginalized, the exploited and the abused feel most concerned by this sad reality that disfigures the Church. Each Oblate should go to war against this evil. To win this battle against evil, we need to be trained, equipped, organized to be engaged in this battle.

Father Ray Warren and I just successfully participated in courses on the protection of minors organized by the Kimmage Development Studies Centre (DSC Kimmage). It was an online course from March to May. This course brought together participants from all the continents; since we came from different cultures, the exchanges were enlightening.

The course content was really enriching. I share with you some examples: What is Safeguarding?; Development Organisations and the Importance of Child Safeguarding; Development Organisations and Child Abuse Case Study; Cultural and Generational Perceptions of Children; The Evolving Capacities of Childhood; What to do when there is a reported case; Types of child abuse; The Effects of Abuse on Children; Children’s Rights; The Importance of Having Child Safeguarding Policies, Procedures and Practices; Writing a Child Safeguarding Policy. There was also a case study.

I say a big thank you to my “virtual classmate” Father Raymond Warren for his support. He practically held my hand and led me to that school. Thanks to Father General and to my provincial superior for their encouragement. Abuse of children is like a sea monster. We do not see it on the surface. No Oblate unit is safe from this monster. Let us not be surprised by him!