Kids taught about blood donation

2019-07-02 06:00
Children posing with the Bloody Buddy. PHOTO: siphesihle notwabaza

Children posing with the Bloody Buddy. PHOTO: siphesihle notwabaza

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Scouts South Africa summed up youth month on a healthy note by taking a group of girls and boys to a learning session about blood donation at the Westridge Civic Centre last Tuesday.

Scouts district commissioner Annsley Spies says the event was hosted in partnership with the Western Cape Blood Services (WCBS) to educate the children in the process of blood donation.

Spies admitted the children were still young but explained it is a good idea to plant the seed when they are still young.

Spies, a blood donor herself, says it was important that people rallied behind WCBS.

“We just want to spread the message of awareness that you must do something remarkable, donate blood and you could save a life,” she explains.

She says the youngsters enjoyed being there and be educated about living healthy and donating blood.

Pamella Ntseke, promotions officer at WCBS says she felt good about the interaction with the children.

She agrees they (children) are still young and not at the level where they could donate.

“This is something we are starting (addressing school-going children) and we are only supposed to start in high schools. But we thought we must start with the children so that they grow up knowing,” she explains.

Ntseke says by the time teenagers get to high schools, their lifestyles would have been “altered”, but if they get foundational talks like this one there is a chance they will try and live a healthy lifestyle and possibly be willing to donate.

The organisation’s mascot, Bloody Buddy, also attended the informative session given to the children.

Ntseke says they use the mascot to create a child-friendly environment and in a way, it will help children to relate to the teddy bear and always think about donating blood when they see it, even at the mall.

“One of the reasons we have decided to start with children, we want them to spread the message at home to their parents and encourage them to donate blood,” she explains.

Ntseke added that their wish is to grow the programme and reach more schools in order for the message to reach a wider audience.

She said the organisation is struggling with all blood types; O, A and B and urged people to come in numbers to donate.

“We are calling on people to come to donate because, with a unit of blood, you can save three people,” she adds.

She thanked all those who regularly donate blood and encouraged them to motivate other people.

The children listened carefully as Ntseke took them through a powerpoint presentation, educating them about donating blood.

The presentation had videos and the youngsters giggled every now and then. After the presentation, they were grouped and given fun exercises.

The winning team was given some goodies.

Forming part of the energetic bunch were Nurudeen Brown (12) and Jaydeen Loggenberg (10), grades 7 and 5 learners, both from Hillside Primary School. They say they enjoyed the presentation and vowed to encourage their parents to donate blood. They say, in so doing, their parents would be saving lives.

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