Our work is centred around our mandate of creating safer spaces and brighter futures for the children of our country. LEADS’ main interventions thereby lie in child protection and child rights promotion where we provide restorative care for survivors of child abuse and create broader awareness on the issue of child abuse among communities all across our island home so as to safeguard children at risk of abuse.
Caring for Survivors of Child Abuse
LEADS has a specialised team of mental health practitioners and equipped caregivers to provide for the psychosocial needs of survivors of child abuse. Residential and non-residential therapeutic care are provided through LEADS’ centres in Jaffna, Badulla and Colombo in order to ensure that the young survivors receive holistic restorative care. LEADS also provides for legal aid and guidance throughout the legal processes so as to support the children and minimise revictimisation of survivors of child abuse. LEADS conducts follow-up counselling with the children’s families so that the survivors return to a safe and secure environment. With its reintegration support, LEADS also ensures that the children return to normalcy either by returning to school or receiving vocational training needed to build back a brighter future for themselves.
Creating Awareness on Child Protection
Through its training unit, LEADS creates broader awareness on the rights of children while equipping community leaders and other stakeholders to ensure safer spaces for children within their communities and institutions. Regular trainings are thereby conducted with local Child Rights Promotion Officers (CRPOs), faith leaders, corporates, teachers, parents and students all across Sri Lanka. Through a special ‘Training of Trainers’ intervention, preschool teachers and other stakeholders are equipped to continue raising awareness on child protection at grassroots level. LEADS also distributes special tools such as educational material and publications so as to ensure that children across all age groups are made aware of their rights and how to protect themselves from incidents of abuse.
Advocating for Change
LEADS’ advocacy unit consists of a team of lawyers and advocates who not only provides legal aid for survivors of child abuse but also lobbies for the implementation of child rights and child protection policies at national policy and grassroots levels. Through this unit, LEADS works closely with like-minded organisations and government agencies such as the National Child Protection Authority in order to ensure that communities of Sri Lanka have improved access to their rights and are better equipped to provide safer spaces for their children.