New approach to child safety

2018-02-06 06:00

With about 78 children brutally murdered last year, the founder of Philisa Abafazi Bethu (PAB) says it is time to do things differently this year.

Lucinda Evans says that last year they picketed at court and called for the rapid conclusion of cases. This year, however, they are looking at a different approach. PAB belongs to a child protection collaboration group and they are constantly looking at ways to make communities safer and protect the children.

Evans is spearheading the #1child2many campaign and they hope to advocate for children’s rights, as well as engage parents on how they can protect their children. They are working with other organisations that are part of “Her Voice His Footprints” to adopt the campaign and spread it in their communities

“Children are very vulnerable. Criminals take chances when they see things are not being done right. It is a pity that it is an everyday occurrence that children walk alone to school. Parents are sitting at home doing nothing. In their defence, they say they are teaching children independence. But little do they know they are just exposing their children and making them easy targets. They put children in taxis driven by drivers they don’t even know. They don’t ask if the driver has been screened or vetted, or ensure he has no criminal record. These are some of the things that we will be discussing with parents and talking about as a community as part of the campaign,” she says.

Following the success of the Rene Roman Search and Rescue Group, Evans is starting another group called PAB #1child2Many, which will look at child protection.

“This year we are singing a different tune. We don’t want our children to be killed. There were way too many last year and we are trying to get to the root cause of this. The new search group will be different from the Rene Roman search group. We are looking at families that will be care families. Abused or lost children will stay at these care families for at least 34 hours until they get help from social workers. We are looking to adopt a school through the #1child2many campaign to look at interventions and solutions for our children,” says Evans.

The idea is to minimise the potential risk of any children getting into harm’s way, says Evans. “We are taking different forms. There are children bunking school. We will be invading Pella-Posie and taking back our children, sending them to school and looking at other ways to intervene. There are children that are forced to stay at home to look after their siblings. This is denying these children their rights. These are the things that we will be looking at throughout this year and hope we can help reduce the number of children who are hurt,” she says.

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