Kids’ home life

2017-12-05 06:00
Pastor Basil Leukes, Jill Coetzee, Sandra Blaauw, Cynthia Desongh and Pastor Sheila Leukes.PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Pastor Basil Leukes, Jill Coetzee, Sandra Blaauw, Cynthia Desongh and Pastor Sheila Leukes.PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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The members of a church youth team from Lavender Hill believe it is important to tell children how precious they are so that they take pride in themselves.

The team has been working at Levana and Hillwood primary schools, talking to learners and encouraging them to speak out about people who might be stealing their joy and the challenges they face at home.

Their aim is to create a platform where learners are able to talk about things that are affecting them.

They are hoping to include Zerilda Park Primary School next year as they have visited the school and gotten the school governing body’s approval already.

The Valuable to Jesus team is an initiative of Faith Community Church in the area and has been operating for the last six years, but a team from Lavender Hill was only formed two years ago.

They talk to learners once a week during interval. They say the issues the learners talk about are shocking.

Jill Coetzee, one of the team members, says many children are at risk and something needs to be done.

“It is so painful when the learners start talking about the things that happen at home. They are at risk and some of them are abused and they don’t know what to do. Our message to them is clear – that if they talk about it, they will find help. We also advise them to talk to the teacher or someone in their community about what is happening to them.

“They should value themselves and learn to dream. After talking to the learners they refer the matter to social workers to help even more,” she says.

Pastor Sheila Leukes of Faith Community Church says it is their job as a church to put an end to what is happening to ­children.

“Children are so vulnerable. They are being used for prostitution and pornography and being abused sexually. We can’t sit and do nothing. We have to equip them and tell them what to do. It is shocking that some of the learners are forced into watching pornography. Girls are being raped by close family members. That is totally destroying a child.

“So Valuable to Jesus is there to help these learners and encourage them to speak out more.”

When they go to the school they also pray for the learners and talk about God. Sandra Blaauw says before they start they declare that they will be talking about God and praying so that those who don’t want to take part can be excused.

“We are not forcing it down anyone’s throat. We share with them what we believe and we just talk about their being valuable. Since we have been working at the school we have seen a huge change in the learners. They are able to talk about their problems and they open up to us because they see us all the time. We are glad that we could help and lend an ear,” she says.

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