Ditto programme arms children with safety skills
Brown Girl Woke Founder Maluseu Doris Tulifau is praising the ‘Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure” programme for sparking new conversations and arming preschoolers with knowledge on how to keep themselves safe from predators.
Maluseu, a survivor of sexual abuse, said she was abused from the age of five and is glad to be a part of the programme.
“We need to start teaching our kids at a very young age what adult roles are and who to be safe around. I am a survivor of sexual abuse from the age of five years old and I was never taught these key messages that the Ditto program brings to light,” she told the Samoa Observer.
“I was always been taught to just listen to adults but we have learned with all the statistics that not all adults are safe. The ditto programme also makes sure that the messages come from safe spaces, safe adults and everyone from teachers, parents and children are prepared for the programme. Yes, I’m really glad our youth mentors are a part of the project.”
The Ditto programme visited the Satupa’itea Methodist Preschool in Savai’i last month.
“Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure is a personal safety programme created by Bravehearts in Australia, teaching children aged three to eight fundamental principles of personal safety in a gentle, non-confronting way, using language and concepts that children, teachers and parents can feel comfortable using,” explains a Facebook post from Talofa Kids.
“Talofa Kids assists in the delivery of the programme through our partnership with Brown Girl Woke who provides youth mentors to facilitate. Thank you Foaina Asovale, Lino Williams and Colette Enari.”
As with all Talofa Kids’ training programmes, trained counsellors are on hand to provide support when needed.
“We thank our Rev. Dr Alesana Pala'amo and Faletua Lemau of SoulTalk Samoa for their partnership,” states Talofa Kids.
Ditto's Keep Safe Adventure is included in the Talofa Kids’ Keep Kids Safe programme to raise awareness of child-sexual abuse prevention.
Children were taught Ditto's Three Rules: 1. We all have the right to feel safe with people; 2. It's okay to say no when we feel unsafe or unsure and 3. Nothing is so yucky, that you can't tell someone about it.
The programme also covers ‘yes and no feelings’ and ‘warning signs.’
“The recurring message of the show is that if children ever feel unsafe or unsure, children must "RUN and TELL someone," Talofa Kids said.
The Bravehearts Foundation is Australia's leading Child Protection Agency.
The Keep Kids Safe programme is funded by the generosity of the Swiss Embassy in New Zealand, said Talofa Kids.