How to support our youth this Child Protection Week
National Child Protection Week is observed in South Africa annually to raise awareness of the rights of children. The campaign started in 1997 and aims to involve society, to ensure that children are cared for and protected. It is every persons duty to protect children and create a safe and secure environment for them. Here’s how to support Child Protection Week this year.
Teach children about their rights
Children need to know their rights, to understand how they should be treated, and how they should treat others. Teaching children about their rights creates a safe place for children to explore, discuss challenges and make their own opinions and values. Teach children protective behaviours and how to report abuse. Knowing their rights can help children be more empowered to fight injustices and inequalities.
Wear a green ribbon
Government urges everyone to wear the Green Ribbon during Child Protection Week to show support for the promotion of the rights, care, and protection of the child.
Wearing the ribbon shows that you care and support Child Protection Week and emphasizes the importance of partnerships to fight child abuse, neglect, and exploitation. If you do not have a green ribbon, you can simply wear green attire or accessories to show your support.
Mentoring can be an effective way of supporting children to grow their confidence and realise their potential. Consider becoming a mentor to one or two children in your community. A local organisation/school is a great place to look. Mentoring guides children so that they can make good life choices. Some of the benefits of mentoring include:
A sense of accomplishment
Creation of networks
More knowledge of topics
Lending a helping hand in your community is another way that you can show support children. You can find a local organisation/school in your area to start volunteering at. Some of the benefits of volunteering include:
Helping vulnerable children and your community
Social contact with a variety of people
Extending your skills and experience (which can help boost your CV)
Organisations to reach out to
It’s important to create a safe environment for our children. Any incidents of abuse or violation of children’s rights should be reported at the nearest police station or by contacting the following hotline numbers:
The Department of Social Development has a 24-hour call centre dedicated to providing support and counselling to victims of gender-based violence. The toll-free number to call is 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV) to speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling.
All children have the right to protection, to be safe, to belong, to be heard, to receive care, and to grow up in a protective environment. Children are the future of our country so let’s make every effort to protect their rights.
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