Programme enables children to be heard

2016-04-06 06:00
PHOTO: nicole john Five local children involved in the Midi Child Ambassador Forum presented projects that they will be focusing on for 2016, (from left) Jethro Iyer (Raisethorpe Secondary), Thabo Leteba (Sobantu Secondary), Riaana Mahommed (Heather Secondary), Ayanda Khoza (Esigodini Primary School) and Hlengiwe Mcoyi (Silver Heights Secondary).

PHOTO: nicole john Five local children involved in the Midi Child Ambassador Forum presented projects that they will be focusing on for 2016, (from left) Jethro Iyer (Raisethorpe Secondary), Thabo Leteba (Sobantu Secondary), Riaana Mahommed (Heather Secondary), Ayanda Khoza (Esigodini Primary School) and Hlengiwe Mcoyi (Silver Heights Secondary).

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

FROM providing school transport to underprivileged children, to the importance of recycling, to building clinics in disadvantaged areas, the children involved in the Midi Change Ambassador Programme have a passion to provide the children of this city with the necessary services in order to better their lives.

For the past three years Midi (Msunduzi Innovation and Development Institute), has been researching ways to make Pietermaritzburg a child friendly city and released a study last year on children’s views about the city.

“After the study we realised we had to stop talking for the children and find a way for them to have their voices heard. They’ve never had a platform that allowed them to do this, which is why the change ambassador programme was developed.

“During a workshop with the children we noticed that there were dynamos is our midst and these children are the future of the city,” said Rutendo Zendah, programme facilitator.

She said working with the children has been a humbling experience.

“This has been the best part of what I do. I get to see children become leaders and speak out. They challenge me to be a better person.”

During the first 2016 stakeholders forum which was held last week, five representatives from the programme presented three key areas of focus the change ambassadors will focus on.

Thabo Zeteba (16), from Sobantu Secondary, presented his initiative providing safe transport for children who walk long distances to get to and from school every day.

Thabo said there are about 70 children, as young as six, who walk 45 minutes to an hour from Jika Joe Informal Settlement to Sobantu to attend schools in the area.

The reason these children attend these Sobantu schools is because they don’t have to pay school fees. Not only do the young children navigate through the traffic in a very congested area, but there have also been instances where children have been attacked.

Ayanda Khoza (13), from Esigodini Primary, felt the plight of the elderly and the young children, who do not have access to nearby clinics and have to travel far from their homes and wait for hours to collect medication.

There are only a few clinics in rural areas that cater for a very large population. Ayanda has to leave his home at 6am and take four taxis to get to the nearest clinic. This trip sometimes takes him the whole day and means he has to miss school.

Hlengiwe Mcoyi (16), from Silver Heights, is focusing on the importance of recycling and encouraging both young and old to get involved through educational workshops, which the group is planning to host this month.

Stakeholders at the meeting identified the seriousness of these projects and, with the children, will be working towards a way of helping these children either by approaching schools closer to their home about free exemptions or approach the Department of Education regarding funds for transport, meet ward councillors to address the need for satellite clinics or help with recycling.

“These children are such important resources to the community. They are exceptional leaders, who know how to speak out, know their rights and who are willing to participate in any way to get their voices heard and needs met,” said Irene Dugmore, Midi project manager.

To get involved in any of the projects, contact the Midi offices at 033 342 8266.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
 

Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.

 
 

You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.