Spread child grants, urge campainers

2008-10-21 00:00

THE Children in Distress Network (Cindi) added its voice yesterday to dozens of other organisations campaigning countrywide to extend the age to qualify for child support grants to 18 years.

The good-natured protest was marked by yellow balloons, and it brought Cindi staff and members of Black Sash and the Child Advocacy Project, which is a Cindi project, together to demonstrate outside the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature.

Yvonne Spain, Cindi director, said the yellow balloon symbolise a happy childhood, but it carries the important message that “we should not fail our children”.

The protesters want vulnerable children up to the ages of 18 to be included in the grant, which currently caters for children up to the age of 14, although this is expected to be extended to 15 in the next year.

“We find it unacceptable that there are millions of needy youngsters who go unattended,” said Spain. “These children are living in poverty, some with Aids, and the grant is an essential lifeline for these children … we feel that it is urgent.”

The ministries of Social Development and of Finance and Economic Development, which implement the assistance programme, received memorandums as part of a national petition to be handed to the Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel.

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