An annual expense of R238 billion is estimated to be the cost of violence against children by the independent organisation, Save the Children South Africa.
Childline director Lynne Cawood said Childline has a collective long-term strategy to transition to democratic human-rights-based communities and a peaceful coexistence.
Cawood shared how Childline has aligned with Inspire – Seven Strategies to End Violence Against Children, published by the World Health Organization (2016), to promote peaceful relations for youth:
- Implementation and enforcement of laws: While South Africa has outstanding legislation and policy pertaining to children, accessing justice is often extremely problematic. They advocate for the right to protection and legal services for each individual client survivor of crime.
- Norms and values: Through their community activations, training and counselling services, they promote positive cultural values of African humanism and child-rearing practices. Providing information and alternatives to the harmful practices of all forms of abuse; Ukuthwala (child marriages); corporal punishment; gender-based violence; illegal initiation schools; etc., promotes knowledge and empowerment as well as prevention and restitution for survivors.
- Safe environments: Safety tips for caregivers and children and public calls for communities to be aware of vulnerable youth aid in the co-creation of safer environments.
- Parent and caregiver support: They offer comprehensive positive parenting workshops and public talks at clinics and schools within communities as well as individual telephone and face to face counselling sessions.
- Income and economic strengthening: This is promoted by sharing information and referrals for social grants and identification documents.
- Response and support services: Face-to-face and telephone counselling, foster care services and overnight emergency care for those in life-threatening circumstances promote healing for children and families.
- Education and life skills: This is provided in their awareness and prevention project in primary schools.
Cawood concluded, “Our expertise, having implemented all seven strategies for the past 30 years, is well established. We, therefore, urge our leaders – political and corporate – to place the well-being of our children and the future adults of our society, high on their agenda. Never give up on our children! They are precious beyond our imaginings and a successful future South Africa is dependent on their resilience and ethical development.”
Details: Childline Gauteng
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