Adele serves the needs of the child

2019-10-29 06:00
Lavender Hill’s Adele Campbell is a candidate for the position of Western Cape Commissioner of Children. PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

Lavender Hill’s Adele Campbell is a candidate for the position of Western Cape Commissioner of Children. PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

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Adele Campbell (49), a Lavender Hill resident, was shortlisted as one of 59 candidates for the role of the first Western Cape Commissioner for Children. But regardless of whether she is appointed or not, she intends to keep serving the needs of children, as she has for decades.

Campbell was nominated by community leader Pastor Sheila Leukes. She says Campbell’s contribution to her community – as well as the nature of her work at the South African department of justice and constitutional development – makes her the right person for the job.

Leukes says: “She’s employed, but with the time she has to herself, she’s always doing something for someone else – every morning this woman makes porridge for children.”

The role was created in accordance with the Children’s Act; a first for the country. The aim is for the selected candidate to lobby for children’s rights and policies that affect them, protect children and address their safety issues.

Campbell says she was honoured by the nomination, and the subsequent feedback she has received from the community.

She is excited about the opportunities the role presents for her to further her scope of work with children.

According to Leukes, Campbell has already played an instrumental part in the growth and development of children by ensuring that absent parents pay the child maintenance amounts agreed upon during court proceedings.

Currently, she also feeds 232 children at her breakfast club every morning to curb the school dropout rate. She also serves on the ward 110 committee.

Campbell says her first objective – should she be chosen to fill the position – is to address the infrastructure that will enable her and her team to perform the necessary tasks.

“Our Children’s Act is one of the best in the world, so it just needs to be implemented properly and the right people need to be in the right places to get this right.”

Also on her list of priorities is to challenge the system to take a proactive approach to children’s safety, place emphasis on foundation phase learning and focus on the family unit to develop well-integrated members of society.

She says the role would still require plenty of research to find and allocate suitable resources, but she would intend to make use of the skills of all the other 58 candidates to serve.

She believes the combined skill sets of all the candidates are conducive to serving the purposes of the children’s commissioner and hopes that, regardless of the result, they will all rally to serve children’s needs.

Campbell believes the role should be given to someone who is street smart and a people person; someone who has the know-how to produce and deliver tangible results; and someone who is committed.

Objections to the list of candidates officially came to a close on Thursday 24 October, after being extended by one day from Wednesday 23 October.

Objections are currently being considered, after which the candidates who are no longer deemed befitting of the position will be notified.

The person who will serve as Western Cape Commissioner for Children will officially take up their role next year.

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