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Vicky Ferguson tells us about Chance For Childhood’s recent campaign and encourages SWIDN members to learn more

11 May 2023

Chance for Childhood’s OverExposed Campaign – Take the pledge!

School child and teacher

This September, Chance for Childhood launched our OverExposed campaign, a call to action to raise standards and reframe thinking on the way the sector uses children’s images and stories. We were delighted when SWIDN pledged to join us on this journey and loved every minute of our session at this year’s online conference. It was full of such rich and reflective conversations. Thank you to everyone that took part!

Today, we are encouraging the SWIDN members to join us on our journey of reframing our thinking. As part of OverExposed, we are asking organisations to commit to the following:

  • We will prioritise the rights and well-being of the children sharing their stories with us.
  • We acknowledge that informed consent is complex, can change over time and may not always be possible.
  • We will share stories of children using positive, strength-based language.
  • We will actively ensure that no child is put at risk by the way we share their story online.
  • Above all, we will continuously reflect on the power and responsibility we hold in collecting and using stories and images of children.

The OverExposed campaign is the culmination of a two-year journey for us at Chance for Childhood; one in which we had to have difficult conversations and try to find a happy medium that met the needs of safeguarding, programmes, fundraising and communications within the organisation. We want to make sure the process is easier for other organisations. We have created a Resource Hub to help facilitate discussion within your team and with the communities you work with. In the Hub you’ll find a short video about each of the pledges above, talking points and a link to other resources on the same theme. It doesn’t have all the answers, but we hope it can support the start of conversations. Alice, our Head of Fundraising, and I wrote a blog for BOND reflecting on this process. We hope by being open about the challenges in our process, we will enable other organisations to avoid the same traps we fell in to.

For us, this campaign really is all about conversations. It’s about listening to each other and to the children, young people, and communities we work with, giving them space to tell us about the challenges they face when it comes to us sharing their stories. We have had powerful conversations with colleagues across Africa over the past two years including Bokey Achola, founder of Glad’s House Kenya and Grace Gatera, a lived experience advocate in Rwanda. Both of their blogs can be read on our website and although challenging to read at times, I would recommend everyone to take the time to read and reflect on what they have to say.

We hope other organisations will join us in these conversations – we know that finding solutions can be difficult and collectively, we can seek more lasting impactful solutions. We have created a Community of Practice to hold the space for these conversations. You can sign up to join us for the first session on Friday 2nd December here.

We really hope you will join us on this journey. You can pledge to join OverExposed as an organisation or as an individual. 

Please reach out to us on overexposed@chanceforchildhood.org to chat about the campaign or how you might get involved.

– Blog kindly provided by Vicky Ferguson, Head of Safeguarding, Training and Learning at Chance for Childhood. Originally posted October 2022.

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