Child Protection week 26 May – 2 June 2019
What does the words CHILD PROTECTION mean to us?
We ask Rata Personnel to answer this question. Some of your answers.
Children are the most precious gift of all. This gift comes with incredible responsibility however, often much more than prospective parents realize.
Child Protection Week is celebrated during the week of 27 May 2019 and as a welfare organization, Rata Social Services focuses in particular on this project. Child Protection Week aims to create awareness in the community to ensure that children are cared for and protected.
Statistics released by the Department of Social Development, reports that 20 million children live in South Africa. 1 in 5 children fall victim to physical, sexual or emotional abuse before their eighteenth birthday. Some of these very upsetting statistics further showed that
- 2,4 million children go hungry on a daily basis
- 17% of children suffer from stunting due to malnutrition
- 10% of children under 10 years are underweight
- 18% of children live in overcrowded dwellings
- 1,7 million children live in informal dwellings
- 43% of children live in rural areas
- 41% of all reported rape cases from 2015 to 2018 involved children
Rata delivers services to children whose lights do not shine so brightly due to neglect, abuse and molestation. It is not always easy to notice the little lights dimming and therefore we are dependent on members of the community to be sensitive, paying attention to the little dimming lights.
Children have the right to protection, care, medical assistance, education and a safe environment. We have the responsibility to ensure that these minimum requirements are provided to our children. Children in South Africa live in a society with a Constitution that has the highest regard for their rights and the equality and dignity for everyone.
Protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse is not only a basic value, but also clearly set out in Article 28 of the South African Constitution. Let us all take hand to make a concrete difference in the lives of these children, in order to give them the opportunity of a better future. Mariaan Steenkamp EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Thank you for the opportunity to rethink this special time on the Social Worker calander.
- What does Child Protection Week mean to me:
Child Protection Week has become anonymous with the rights of children or in some cases demands children may make based on the rights they perceive they have. This has caused Child Protection Week to obtain a negative connotation in some communities. As a social worker wanting to empower children to be safe and protected from abusive behaviour as the main focus of child protection, in communities where individuals are negative towards the “rights of children” – social workers are confronted with organisations/individuals who do not see the importance of such campaigns in the same light and opportunities to empower children are disregarded or seen as not important. This could also be because of the stigma of child protection social workers, who only take children away. This cause frustration for the social workers, because our aim is not supported throughout the community.
Regardless, of this, I am of the view that the focus of Child Protection Week should rather be on the responsibilities of the community, family and parents’ towards children. Because when you take responsibility for your/(a) child, you value his/her life/existence/needs and that would result in a child who are protected. A child who grows up in an environment where some takes responsibility for him/her will be a child who are protected.
During Child Protection Week, I also gently remind myself that The Children’s Act, 38 of 2005 are not for the children out there, it is for all children, including yours and mine.
- During Child Protection Week at the Nylstroom office we again focus on empowering the Gr R learners with knowledge on how to protect themselves and be mindful of their surroundings, making it safe for themselves. We will be handing out “My super safe colouring book” at the local pre-schools and day care centres with Gr R classes as well as at the local Primary Schools, spending time with the learners and explaining the pictures and scenario’s in the book.
Should the program of the local high school permit, we plan to hand out leaflets regarding Teenage Sexual Practice and Pregnancy – “Teenage Mum” & “Teenager + Sex = Pregnancy” to the learners and have a discussion with them regarding the responsibilities and consequences of deciding to be sexually active. Lize Fouché Social Worker: Nylstroom Office
Child Protection is an act of love providing a safe and secure environment for the children, it is a direct and positive response to the safeguarding of children. Child protection week creates awareness and empowerment to families, communities and societies on how children should be protected. God trusted us as adults with the life of children, we are God’s stewards and we need to make sure we take care of what God has put in our hands. Child protection is a daily activity and a responsibility that we should not undermine. Child protection is a duty to every parent and the society.
Children need to be provided with shelter, food (basic needs), provided with love and belongingness, provided with safety and security so they may have a good self-esteem leading them to a place of self-actualization.
Child Protection brings out the best of children.
‘Save a child, protect a child…embrace a child with love’ Thobekile Makhaye Social Auxilary Worker: Brakpan Office
To make people aware of the danger children live in in these days. Not only of being abused or maltreated but also of being abducted in this new evil of human trafficking. Parents should – AT ALL TIMES – be aware of where their children are. The using of drugs would be contained if parents are more aware of what their children are doing and who their friends are and where they are. The biggest problem though still seems to be abuse.
Furthermore to teach parents to adhere to rules with robots especially – they seem to take no notice of red robots and just continue walking and this teaches the children to make the same mistakes and not to take notice of road rules. Thousands of pedestrians get killed every year and this is one big reason for it. – Nina Burger
Rata Secunda is planning to do awareness at 3 crèches and a farm school, within our working areas (Lebohang and Secunda). We plan to address the topic of domestic violence within the home and give children information on how to deal with such situations. We also plan to make them aware of the increase in kidnappings and abductions in the area. Children will be advised on how to defend themselves and how to report incidents. A pamphlet will be distributed to each child with information that pertain to the parents and caregivers. We will provide more info about our events as we go along.
To me, Child Protection is something that we do on a daily basis but during child protection week, we highlight it to the community and spread awareness. With all the dangers in our communities, it is always good to refresh people’s knowledge and spread awareness. It also gives us an opportunity to inform the public about prevalent concerns in our community and mobilize them to work in partnership with us. Child Protection to me is a partnership effort with the entire community in safe-guarding our children’s well-being. – Steffney Rajiah Social Worker : Secunda office
What does CHILD PROTECTION WEEK means to me? As a person who is dedicated to child protection, it is a reminder to go out there in the community to capacitate community members with the information about the importance of protecting our children. To make sure that our children, also know more about types of abuse and how to stay safe when they are away from their parents during the day. Bukiwe Nobendle Social Worker