As part of the 16 Days of Activism for no violence against Women and Children campaign, parents and young children from Mfuleni took to the streets on Monday to encourage young children to speak out against any form of abuse.
The march was organised by Afrika Tikkun as part of its Memeza Bazokuzwa awareness campaign. The campaign is designed to motivate children to speak out, and it came a day after the launch of the 16 Days campaign.
Campaign co-ordinator Makhoaphe Letsie described the march as an annual event.
She said their aim is to raise awareness in the community to stop child abuse.
“We want the community to stop abusing children, listen to them, take them serious and believe them,” said Letsie.
Letsie said many children’s were violated through corporal punishment at school and at home. She added that they were also abused sexually.
“We want them to break the silence. If they experience anything which is bad or they feel uncomfortable they must report it to their parents or educators,” she emphasised.
Letsie urged children to stop bullying each other.
She they also fighting for the rights of children living with disability that they also need to be respected too.
Zisekho Nkoyana (19) said they want their voices to be heard by the community.
She urged parents to listen to their concerns instead of sidelining them.
“Afrika Tikkun has taught me on how to express myself and how to resolve problems without violence. And also to work as team,” she said.
Parent Nodadithi Xegwana also urged other parents to listen and protect their children.
“Gone are those days when a parents have to compel their views to the children regardless of how the children feel. We need to sit down with our children and talk instead of using corporal punishment,” she said.