The promoters of the Centre of Excellence for the Study of the African Child (AfriChild Centre) have held a consultative meeting with the academia from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) to brainstorm on possible areas of collaboration in the promotion of child protection and wellbeing interventions on the African Continent. The meeting was chaired by the Principal of CHUSS, also Chair of the AfriChild Centre Advisory Board, Prof. Edward K. Kirumira; and attended by among others, the Ag. Executive Director of the Centre, Mr Timothy Opobo; the Commissioner of Children and Youth Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Mr Francis Mondo Kyateka; the Assistant Commissioner of Children Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Mr James Kaboggoza; Prof. Neil Boothby from Columbia University; the Country Director ChildFund International, Mr Simba Machingaidze; and Mr Onyango from TPO Uganda. It attracted academia from the departments of Social Work and Social Administration; Performing Arts and Film; Religion and Peace Studies; Linguistics and Communication Skills as well as African Languages.
Proposed areas of research collaboration included; parenting, the role of theatre in child protection as well as the historical and religious perspectives in the protection and wellbeing of children. It is expected that research will help inform child protection and wellbeing interventions. It was also reported that the AfriChild Centre will start up a mentorship programme for members of staff.
CHUSS in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) and other Child Protection in Crisis Network (CPC Network) partners, namely UNICEF-Uganda, ChildFund Uganda, Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation (TPO)-Uganda and Columbia University worked together to establish “The Centre of Excellence for the Study of the African Child - The AfriChild Centre”.
The establishment of the Centre is a response to national and regional need for rigorous scientific research, collaboration and coordination of learning efforts within this burgeoning field of practice on children, human resources capacity needed to build effective child protection and wellbeing responses, and the overarching need to link research on the child to policy, programming and practice issues.
The Centre was officially launched in October, 2014 by the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development as a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional knowledge building and skills development Centre that contributes to research & training, and influencing policy and practice concerning the well-being of the African Child. It is hosted by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.