Pupils say no to sugar daddies

By admin
08 July 2014

Grade 10 learners took top honours after an innovative campaign to warn fellow students about the dangers of dating sugar daddies.

Efforts by Grade 10 learners from Wrenchville High School in Kuruman in educating their peers against the dangers of transactional relationships with sugar daddies have earned them top honours.

When the learners discovered that statutory rape and pregnancy was on the increase among their peers, they immediately took action and established a campaign entitled "Together against Rape Bua, or Star Bua ("Bua" is Tswana for "speak") to protect female learners and bring sexual predators to book.

And in doing this, the pupils won the Empowervate Trust Youth Citizens' Action Programme national championships in Durban this month.

According to the department of education, the Youth Citizens Action Programme, (YCAP) was launched by NPO in 2010. It challenges Grade 10 learners to demonstrate what it means to be an empowered citizen, encouraging youth to be proactive and forward-thinking.

The annual YCAP initiative developed into an interactive competition involving a total of 1080 schools across South Africa in the four years of the competition. Participating schools in SA’s nine provinces are requested to identify a social challenge that adversely affects their school or community, and develop and implement a strategy to overcome it.

Using Facebook as their means to communicate with fellow learners, the group from Wrenchville High School formed a Facebook group called STAR.

In rolling out the programme, each learner not only signed a petition against rape, but also participated in a “walk a mile in her shoes” day where boys wore high heels to school.

A silent protest was also organized where participants taped their mouths shut and marched through town.

According to YCAP founder and CEO Amanda Blankfield-Koseff, the learners made significant progress in the awareness of the problem. "They have managed to start breaking down the stigma about the topic so that their fellow learners feel they can talk to the YCAP team about their experiences and together they can find solutions," she says.

According to the department of justice, girls under the age of 12 years cannot legally consent to sexual intercourse; therefore it will always be rape, irrespective of circumstances while girls between the ages of 12-15 years can be the victims of statutory rape.

- www.timeslive.co.za; www.empowervate.org; www.justice.gov.za; www.education.gov.za

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