Who will protect our children?
As South Africa marks National Child Protection Week from 25 to 31 May, where's the fanfare?
The last week in May marks the annual National Children Protection Week, an initiative introduced by Government in the late 1990s to draw attention to child abuse and children in crisis in South Africa. Yet while the country mobilises to protect the rhino, the penguins and the environment, little attention seems to be paid to this important week aimed at highlighting the protection of South African children. Let's change that - let's do something!
At Yenzani, we've come to understand that we face a challenge in raising awareness about the need for child protection. We don't want to compromise our children's dignity or safety by splashing their photos on marketing material. While showing a photo of a slaughtered de-horned rhino is an effective tactic in getting the public's attention, we won't do that. Instead, we hope that we will mobilise you to support child protection efforts by doing the opposite - sharing our stories of hope with you.
One of our children, Lungile*, arrived at Yenzani at six years old suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder â€“ the same syndrome that soldiers suffer after experiencing the horrors of war. With the specialised attention she has been given since coming to Yenzani, the difference in Lungile is nothing short of miraculous. She's in a special school where her specific needs can be met, and even her body language has changed dramatically. Her rigid body and stressed neck and face muscles are relaxing and this special little person is becoming a regular child with confidence and even a bit of swag.
This National Child Protection Week, help us to help more children like Lungile.