Lack of funds to assist abused kids

2014-05-06 00:00

TWO Pietermaritzburg projects that assist abused and abandoned children face closure because of lack of funds.

Child Welfare director Julie Todd said it was ironic that this was happening a month before the launch of National Child Protection Week and in a country that is often described as having some of the highest incidences of child and infant rape in the world. “The government claims to take the abuse of women and children seriously but where are the funds?” Todd asked.

The projects threatened with closure are the Child Advocacy Centre (CAC), a support system for abuse victims, and a temporary safe care shelter for abused and abandoned children, Ekhaya Lethemba.

Todd gave an example of the vital work done by CAC. She said a 15-year-old school girl had been sexually abused by her uncle for the past year. She eventually told her teacher and the school contacted Child Welfare.

Through the CAC a medical examination was arranged, a statement taken and counselling was facilitated. The pupil receives victim support and will be assisted with court preparation when the time comes.

The CAC was started in 2003 by the Pietermaritzburg Child Welfare Society in collaboration with Childline KZN.

She added that CAC was currently operating on a skeleton staff due to a lack of funds and they were desperate to save it from closing down. “In the past years donor funding was received to keep the project operational, but this has since dried up.”

Those who would like to assist can phone 033 342 8971 or e-mail:

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