Protect children and move SA forward

2018-06-07 06:00
Residents, pupils and members of the Tongaat Child and Family Welfare Society held a placard demonstration in Tongaat.PHOTO: supplied

Residents, pupils and members of the Tongaat Child and Family Welfare Society held a placard demonstration in Tongaat.PHOTO: supplied

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IN keeping with the theme for the National Child Protection Week 2018, “Let’s all protect children to move South Africa forward”, the Tongaat Child and Family Welfare Society embarked on campaigns and visits to primary schools in a bid to raise awareness.

Senior social worker Devi Naidoo told the Weekly that the society’s aim in this year’s campaign is to target primary schools around Tongaat to spread the word about the importance of protecting children.

“We visit schools to address the pupils about issues pertaining to child abuse. We talk about bulling, moral degeneration and many more issues affecting children,” Naidoo said.

Child Protection Week is a national campaign celebrated in South Africa on an annual basis from May 27 to June 2. The aim is to highlight issues affecting children under 18 years old.

A report released by the society revealed that there was a high incidence of child abuse occurring in Tongaat.

“Open communication with your children is essential to ensure their safety. Information gathering, such as the role players in your child’s life can prevent abuse from occurring,” Naidoo said.

The society urged the community to be more vigilant and assist with the protection of the children.

“As a child protection organisation, we are seeking your assistance as parents and caregivers to prevent our children from being another statistic – as we have witnessed in the media over the recent years,” Naidoo said.

She cited inappropriate parenting as the cause of moral degeneration.

“We each need to reflect and instil healthy methods of discipline, love, care and attention in order to curb issues of defiant behaviour, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse and criminal activity,” Naidoo added.

Police spokesperson in Tongaat Captain Patrick Ngwane said the members of the SAPS have also embarked on various campaigns to raise awareness during the Child Protection Week.

Childline South Africa issued tips to help parents protect children:

> Provide a quiet, uninterrupted time each day to ask your children about their daily activities. This will give them an opportunity to tell you about things that may be worrying them, should such a situation arise.

>Never send children alone to the shop or on other errands.

>Always check the references of any new baby-sitters, care-givers or nursery schools.

>Remember safety in numbers: If children walk to school or use public transport, ensure that they know to go with at least one friend.

>Under no circumstances leave a child waiting unattended outside school or other places.

>Accompany children to toilets in public places.

>When children are invited to visit or stay overnight, always get to meet the family before giving your permission.

>Monitor the content of films and television programmes watched by your children and use the parental control button on the remote where available.

>Make sure that electronic devices, such as cell phones and computers are password protected to prevent unsupervised use by children.

>Ask questions if a child starts coming home with extra money or unexplained gifts.

For any queries related to child abuse contact the Tongaat Child and Family Welfare Society on 032 944 1514 Childline on 08000 55 555, or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

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