Safety skills at school save kids

2016-11-01 06:00

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There’s a new sense of safety at Rustenberg Girls’ High School in Rondebosch after some serious safety training has taken place.

While the school has been part of the ACTStet, hier bly die afkorting hoofletters BEAR Schools Training Programme since the third term, there are plans to take this programme to schools across the peninsula in partnership with People’s Post.

Kelee Arrowsmith, CEO of Advanced Conflict Training (ACT), is passionate about equipping learners with the skills to be more aware of their safety and teachers with the skills to maintain a programme at their schools.

“Crime is escalating at an alarming rate and our youth are being targeted more and more because they are easy targets,” she says.

“That is why we developed the BEAR programme which stands for Boundary setting, Evade and escape, Awareness and Recognition skills.

“When we do these programmes we try not to frighten the learners but use various games to teach the fundamentals of personal safety and without making them fearful.

“We address crimes like mugging, sexual predators and violent confrontations in a way that will not scare them but help them understand that they have the ability to keep themselves safe.”

Arrowsmith adds that the programme can be structured to suit the needs of a school.

“We can do the programme so that the teachers can deliver the programme because there are additional costs if we have to present all the sessions, as it takes long hours to deliver to the whole school over a period of time.

“We recommend that the school run the programme for at least one term but they can elect to run it once a month or however it best fits into their curriculum.”

Further, wider help

People’s Post is partnering with ACT to extend this programme to more schools at no cost to the schools.

“These days we have to worry about so much more than accepting candy from a stranger,” says Cecilia Hume, editor of People’s Post.

“How do you prevent your child from being robbed or abducted on their way to school – it only takes a a few seconds – or from being abused by someone you trust? Daily we hear of children who have fallen victim to some form of abuse or crime. Yet what have we done to protect them?

“The reality is, we as parents cannot watch them 24/7, and no matter where you live – a gang-ridden neighbourhood or a rich leafy suburb – our children remain the most vulnerable and easy targets.

“So let’s equip them with the knowledge of how to stay safe – how to avoid a difficult situation, what to do if you find yourself in one, and what to do when all else failed and you have fallen victim. The People’s Post ACT BEAR Programme aims to do exactly that, and just as importantly, equip the teachers with the skills to keep the programme going for future learners,” says Hume.

Schools selected to take part in the programme will be sponsored by a business that chose to invest in the safety of the learners of that school, and will need to commit to having the programme presented for a full term.

Learners or teachers who’d like to see the People’s Post ACT BEAR Programme presented at their school can email a motivation letter to Remember to include the school’s contact details along with the details of the headmaster.V Businesses interested in sponsoring a school can call Kelee Arrowsmith on 021 788 1790 or Cecilia Hume on 021 910 6500.

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