Children's Parliament Speaker aims to break boundaries

2015-10-08 08:19
Jean-Claude Smit (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Jean-Claude Smit (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Bloemfontein – Jean-Claude Smit, the first Speaker for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Parliament with a disability, says he is the change he wants to see.

The 17-year-old has expressed extraordinary passion towards his tenure as Speaker.

He was elected as Speaker by the majority of votes on Monday.

"I want to change South Africa so that there are more laws to protect deaf and disabled people from the community," he said.

He is currently a pupil at De La Bat School for the Deaf in the Western Cape.

Smit describes himself as a person who is willing to break boundaries despite his disabilities.

"I am proud to be representing the disabled community as a whole, not just the deaf," he said.

Smit said the role gave him an opportunity to build relationships with disadvantaged communities, adding that being elected as Speaker had inspired him.

"I want to show people that disabled individuals are capable of delivering the best," he said.

He also said he wants to focus on helping children who face challenges at home.

This year's Children's Parliament, held at the Free State Legislature, tackled issues surrounding the protection of children.

The Children’s Parliament session ended on Wednesday.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  youth

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