The Cayman Islands Red Cross has opened its child safety programme ‘My Body is My Own’ to local primary schools and early education centres throughout Grand Cayman for children ages 3 to 6 years old.

The programme is available for free. It was developed by the working group of the Protection Starts Here project, which is spearheaded by the Red Cross.

According to a Red Cross media statement on Monday, more than 40 participants from 14 education- and youth-serving organisations have already undertaken the training, including Little Trotters, which was the first school to send all its teachers to the sessions.

Carolina Ferreira, deputy director for the Cayman Islands Red Cross, explained that the programme was designed to also support the changes in the Education Law which require schools to provide child safety lessons to students.

“Our aim was to create something that would build capacity within schools and early education centres, as we know that not all educational institutions have access to the same resources, she said. “The generous support of HFC (Hedge Funds Care Cayman) has made it possible for us to not only provide hard copy, printed materials to the teachers, but also to ensure programme continuity by providing them with the electronic versions as well.”

‘My Body is My Own’, the release stated, is an animation that features Bobo the green turtle and Teedee the blue iguana, local characters created by Mari Abe and Ben Hud from Sands Creative. It features the vocals of Caymanian actress Rita Estevanovich, as well as Alyk Smith and Neri Miller, along with several other local children.

The lesson teaches children about safe, unsafe and unwanted touch, as well as the swimsuit rule.

“It adheres to international best practices and age appropriate information and provides complementary information to that which adults receive in the Darkness to Light ‘Stewards of Children’ training session,” the release added.

The lesson was piloted in 2018 with a group of 80 students from both Montessori and traditional school settings. The pilot assisted in the development and finalisation of all materials, and teachers who undertake the training and teach students ages 3‑6 receive all the materials to support the delivery of the lesson in the classroom.

Teacher training sessions have been scheduled for Mondays and Tuesdays in September, and are open to all teachers who teach 3‑6 year olds.

For more information, or to register, interested teachers should email [email protected]

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