OPINION | 'Our appeal is for the sake of our children's future': CEO calls for urgent intervention

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"Heroes are those who make peace and build" - Nelson Mandela
"Heroes are those who make peace and build" - Nelson Mandela

PROTEC is an NGO that develops young people to ensure their success in STEM careers. Here CEO Balan Moodley shares the damage the organisation suffered during the recent unrest, and calls for decisive and immediate action by government. 

As thousands of NGOs, companies, and individuals count the horrendous cost of the damage resulting from the rioting and looting in KwaZulu-Natal over the past few days, we as a nation must begin planning the rebuilding and reopening of our services to minimise the impact on our children's futures and the livelihoods of their families.

PROTEC branches in KZN have been broken into and destroyed. All 50 desktop computers, more than 40 tablets pre-loaded with content and data, printers, routers, cables, kitchen equipment and much of the furniture were stolen from the Inanda branch.

The Umbogintwini offices were also broken into, trashed, and equipment and 24 tablets were stolen.

The police were called, but did not come. 

Our other branches and projects in KZN are still in the process of assessing their losses, as are so many other NGOs whose sole objective is to better the lives of disadvantaged people and to give hope for brighter futures.

Also read: 'Our kids are struggling': Vanessa Raphaely offers insight and tips as we navigate the pandemic

Our appeal is for decisive and immediate action by our government to bring the situation under control. Our appeal is for the sake of our children's future. We cannot allow this to be the legacy we pass on to them. 

Anthony Hlungwane, CEO of The Unplugg Group, a PROTEC alumnus and a PROTEC board member, wrote on LinkedIn, "How is this justified and how does it move us forward as a nation? These acts have a devastating and lasting impact on our children and communities."

We join his call for urgent and comprehensive intervention from all stakeholders to bring this situation under control. 

"We also need a comprehensive strategy and roadmap to move us forward as a nation. It is time to stop thinking about personal gains and think about national gain."

Let's start now; building a healthy national environment where our children – wherever they are – can flourish and succeed and be the future that this country so desperately needs.

Nelson Mandela, who sacrificed so much for a better life for all in the country, and must have the last word, once said: "It is so easy to break down and destroy. Heroes are those who make peace and build."

Submitted to Parent24 by PROTEC.


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