Kondanani Safeguarding Policy

As updated 24th April 2023


The introduction of this Safeguarding Policy should highlight the fact that Kondanani is determined to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to protect from harm, those children and young people who reside at Kondanani, and others who live and work at Kondanani.  This policy establishes Kondanani’s position, role and responsibilities and clarifies what is expected from everybody involved within the organisation.  It clearly highlights the importance placed by Kondanani in the protection of children and adults. 

Every child and adult who lives and works at Kondanani should be able to participate in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse.  This is the responsibility of every adult involved in this organisation.  We recognise however, that abuse is a very emotive and difficult subject.  It is important to understand the feelings involved but not allow them to interfere with our judgment about any action taken.  Kondanani recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and adults by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional abuse, neglect and bullying.  It is determined to meet its obligation to ensure that Kondanani provide opportunities for children and young people to develop, with the highest possible standard of care.

  1. The welfare of the child is paramount.
  2. All children and adults, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs and /or sexual identity, have the right to protection from abuse.
  3. All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
  4. All staff (paid or unpaid) working in this organisation have a responsibility to report concerns to Mrs Annie Chikhwaza or Ms Cheryl Stanford.

Key principles

Kondanani will take responsibility for:

  1. Respecting and promoting the rights, wishes and feelings of children and adults.
  2. Recruit, train and supervise all volunteers and staff members to adopt the best practice to safeguard and protect children and adults from abuse.
  3. Recruit all employees to adopt and abide by the appropriate codes of conduct and the Safeguarding policies and procedures outlined within this document
  4. Respond to any allegations appropriately
  5. Regularly review the policy, at least annually.

A child by law is defined as a person under the age of 18.

Promoting Good Practice

Abuse of children and young people, particularly sexual abuse, can arouse strong emotions in those facing such a situation.  It is important to understand these feeling and not allow them to interfere with your judgment about the appropriate action to take.  Abuse can occur within many situations including the home, school and the outside activities.  Some individuals will actively seek employment or voluntary work with children in order to harm them.  There are some people in this organisation that will have regular contact with children and young people and be an important link in identifying cases where they need protection. All suspicious cases of poor practice should be reported to Annie Chikhwaza and the guidelines in this policy should be followed.

Good practice means:

  1. Always working in an open environment, where possible, avoiding private or unobserved situations and encouraging open communication.
  2. No children or young people are allowed by themselves into the home of staff members.
  3. No male or female member of staff is allowed to hold hands, cuddle or carry a child, other than house mothers and nannies.
  4. Treating all children and adults equally with respect and dignity.
  5. Always putting the welfare of each child first.
  6. Maintaining a safe and appropriate distance with children and adults (e.g.: it is not appropriate for staff or missionaries to have an intimate relationship with a child or to share a room with them)
  7. Building balanced relationships based on mutual trust and empowering children and young people to share in decision making.
  8. Keeping up to date with training and qualification.
  9. Involving children/carers wherever possible so as not to create a suspicious environment.
  10. Being an excellent role model – this includes not smoking or drinking alcohol.
  11. Giving enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
  12. Recognising the developmental needs and capacity of the children and young people.
  13. Keeping a written record of any injury that occurs, along with the details of any treatment given. Also a written record of safeguarding incidents and the action taken.

Named persons for Safeguarding:

Mrs Annie Chikhwaza or Ms Cheryl Stanford.

If there are concerns share the information with the above-named persons.

What will we do next:

It is not the responsibility of individual staff to decide whether abuse has taken place or not, they must pass on the information to the named persons for child protection.  Write down all of the information so that if we are asked at a later time, we can produce a written report.  Severe and obvious cases of abuse will be reported immediately to the authorities. 

Services for children (organisations like Kondanani) and social welfare, have a statutory duty under the Malawi “Child Care, Protection and Justice Act, 2010” to ensure the welfare of a child.  When a child protection referral is made, they have a legal responsibility to investigate and all agencies have a duty to co-operate with those investigations.  This may involve talking to the child and gathering information from other people who know the child.  Enquiries may be carried out jointly with the police.  Clearly then concerns about children must not be taken lightly.  The protection of children and young people is paramount and if we have any concerns about a child,  young person or adult being abused contact:

Mrs Chikhwaza or Ms Stanford.

Telephone numbers:

Mrs Chikhwaza                       0999299151

Ms Stanford                            0998112139

Signs that may suggest physical and sexual abuse:

  • Child has problems with walking.
  • The child appears emotionally disturbed
  • Multiple bruising to different parts of the body.
  • Fingertip bruising to the chest, back, arms or legs.
  • Burns of any shape or size.
  • An injury for which there is no adequate explanation.

If you are concerned about a child

What should you do if a child reports abuse to you:

If someone discloses that they are being abused, whether in the home, the sports setting, school or on the playground, then upon receiving the information you should-

  1. React calmly
  2. Reassure the child that they were right to tell and that they are not to blame and take what the child says seriously
  3. Keep questions to an absolute minimum to ensure a clear and accurate understanding of what has been said.  Don’t ask about explicit details.
  4. Reassure but do not promise confidentiality, which might not be feasible in the light of subsequent developments.
  5. Inform the child what you will do next
  6. Make a full and written record of what has been said/heard as soon as possible and don’t delay in passing on the information.

The report will include the following:

  1. Make sure that the person who is telling you is expressing their own concerns not those of someone else.
  2. The nature of the allegation, including dates, times and special factors and other relevant information.
  3. Make a clear distinction between what is fact, opinion or hearsay
  4. A description of any visible bruising or other injuries.   Also, any indirect signs, such as behavioural changes.
  5. Details of witnesses to the incidents
  6. The child’s account of what has happened and how any bruising or other injuries occurred
  7. Serious abuse will be referred to the police and social welfare in writing within 24 hours and the name of the contact who took the referral should be recorded.