Tuesday's public dialogue in M-Section (Emthonjeni) revealed that there is a strong need for collaboration of organizations in dealing with children's issues; unfortunately several stakeholders could not make the discussions planned. Feedback from a concerned parent revealed that only Sikhula Sonke is currently servicing their area; they need other services. The parent also mentioned that she sees children being ignored and neglected, but thanked Sikhula Sonke's door-to-door programme because it helps to rescue those children and give them opportunities.
Wednesday's community dialogue was attended by 68 community parents and 74 children from Khunqu community. This was very interactive indeed! Community structures and parents brought a lot of ideas to share around Child Protection, identifying and discussing all sorts of social ills that surround children. This made us happy to see that parents are able identify issues that affect their own children. They also put a lot of emphasis in involving government departments like Social Development Social Workers, South Africa Social Security Agency on child neglect, misuse of child support grant etc. This public dialogue was a eye opener to the community and we as the staff also learnt more around issues that affect children.
Thursday's public dialogue was hosted in a public park under our banner and gazebos. Fortunately the community nutrition programme opened its container facility to extend our premises and provide shelter to parents during the drizzle and rain that swept Cape Town. The dialogue was led by UWC legal Aid Clinic as key speaker in the light of Child Protection week. The talk triggered a lot of thought and conversation among parents around protection of their own children.
Sikhula Sonke wrapped up Child Protection Week on Friday by spending time with 279 parents, talking to and informing them on the importance of protection and caring for their own children. Education and awareness did not only cover talking about topics like abuse and neglect, but was narrowed to the very basic daily things we can do as parents, like keeping paraffin bottle tops tightly closed, and keeping children from fire, putting medicine away out of children's reach, keeping babies out of reach of water etc.
A heartfelt thank you to our team who worked hard and with enthusiasm despite the cold weather.
To the parents, educators, caregivers, leaders and partners we met with: may you be freshly encouraged to protect and care for our children! Thank you for all you already do!