Pitter patter of marching feet

2017-05-09 10:09
About 20 children from a Rondebosch East daycare walked hand in hand down Lawson Road with placards for a mini-march against child abuse and killings. The initiative was supported by police and the community police forum.

About 20 children from a Rondebosch East daycare walked hand in hand down Lawson Road with placards for a mini-march against child abuse and killings. The initiative was supported by police and the community police forum. (Samantha Lee)

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White balloons and tiny hands clutching small placards in the hopes of sending a strong message: “Save our children.”

Noddy’s Daycare in Rondebosch East took about 20 of its children on a mini-march in the area to add their voices to the campaign against violence.

The group of two to five-year-old children took to the streets on Thursday last week. The march had a special focus on women and children, following the highlighted killings of several children and women in Cape Town in recent months.

Zaida Samuels, owner of the daycare, says it is only the beginning of their initiative, which she hopes to take to more suburbs.

“Today is about saving lives,” Samuels at the mini-march. “We are marching for children who are missing and those killed in the past few months.

We need to save them; they are our future and we need to protect them.”

The children, dressed in pink and blue, walked alongside their teachers down Lawson and Rosedon streets.

Samuels said she made use of the opportunity to initiate the campaign using her own daycare’s children with the support of their parents.

“I want to call on mothers in areas such as Lavender Hill, Retreat, Mitchell’s Plain to come together for a march so that we can do this for our children. They are innocent and need to be protected,” said Samuels.

“We teach them to love and show respect to their elders, but sadly it is the people next door and the people who love them who also hurt them.”

She said she was not just calling on mothers.

“I want fathers, grandparents, friends, everyone to come out and show their commitment to keeping our children safe.

“We are in our comfort zone here because it isn’t happening here, but what about the children in less advantaged areas, whose parents have to go work? Who is looking out for them?”

The aim of the initiative is also to empower women to take a stand and empower their children and each other. She further wants to see self-defence classes for children from five years old in suburbs that need it most.

She added that they would also like to do a whistle campaign that would see the children learning about whistles and how to use them in an emergency. She said residents should recognise that the sound is a call for help.

The mini-march was supported by police and the community police forum.

Sergeant Nkululeko Mnyaka, station commander Colonel Elizabeth Hermanus and Rafique Foflonker, chairperson of the community policing forum, spoke to the children about important telephone numbers to remember and Child Protection Week, observed last week.

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