How can I help during Child Protection Week?
Most of us understand that children can’t really protect themselves while they are still young and growing but how many of us are aware of the rights of children chomas? Children’s rights are very important in South Africa and that’s why there’s a week dedicated to making us aware of child protection, child abuse, bullying and child and youth-headed households. National Child Protection Week is from 29 May to 5 June this year. Here’s how you can play your part chomas.
Helping protect those younger than you from bullying
Being bullied is something that can affect any young person. Children especially need protection because they are not always able to defend themselves in these situations. If you’re an older choma who can stand up for your younger chomas, help them by treating them the way you would your younger brother or sister.
You can try and speak to someone you trust, who can also help a young person in this situation – so a parent, sibling or uncle/aunt for example. If it’s at school, speak to the teacher or principal.
Child headed homes
HIV/AIDS impacts many South African families chomas. Unfortunately, children are even more affected and in some cases where children lose their parents they end up living alone within their communities.
How can I help?
If you are aware of a home where young kids need help, you can help in the following ways (or ask others who are able to help):
- donate food items or parcels
- make or share a meal like a sandwich
- help them with their homework
- help them attend school by giving them your old school shoes or uniform
It’s not safe or legal for children to stay on their own. If you know of a home where there are young kids and no adults you can:
- Report it to your nearest police station
- Call ChildLine South Africa on 0800 055 555 (toll free an you can call anytime)
- Call Child Welfare South Africa: 0861 4 CHILD (24453) or (011) 452 4110 or email them: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to volunteer or donate to help kids in child headed households, or if you’re a young child in this situation who needs help visit Baphumele’s website on: http://baphumelele.org.za/ or call them on: (021) 361 - 8631
How and why I need to play my part during Child Protection Week
Children are the future of this country and we all can help in making sure that we do our part. But, if you do come across an issue that’s bigger than you can handle, the first step is telling someone you trust about it. You don’t need money to help protect a child. If you can help any child in any way, whether it’s making sure they safely cross the street, giving half your sandwich during lunch, polishing their school shoes or making sure they are in class on time, then you have done your part and you should be proud!
If you are a child, or know of someone who needs assistance or someone to talk to, here are the number again chomas:
ChildLine South Africa on 0800 055 555 (toll free an you can call anytime)
Child Welfare South Africa: 0861 4 CHILD (24453) or (011) 452 4110 or email to: email@example.com
Everything is confidential and if you need a counsellor, then that will be available too.
If you need more help or advice, Ask Choma.
Did you find this article helpful? Yes No