CARE group reaching out to all children

Chrisan van Buuren (social worker) and Constable Moshira Lekalakala (Thabazimbi Police) are addressing the learners at Ysterberg Primary using Mpho, the doll, to illustrate their message.

THABAZIMBI – The organizers of Child Protection Week in Thabazimbi, CARE (Consider All, Remember Everyone), visited numerous schools in the Thabazimbi region during the past two weeks.

Child Protection Week, a national campaign which runs during May and June, aims to bring a message to children that certain practises are not acceptable, such as bullying, abusive and aggressive behaviour.

The CARE group, which is co-ordinated by the SAVF, Thabazimbi, aims to introduce a stable panel of people, whom the children see regularly and whom they get to know. The children are already aware of the role of this group and aware of the fact that, should circumstances require it, they can approach these people for help. This group, although some people come and go, always have representatives from SAVF, Legae la Bona and other local NGO’s, the police, the Victim Empowerment Centre, schools and the Dept of Social Development.

Through a puppet show featuring, amongst others Piet Police and Wilma Wise, a message regarding bullies, road safety and good and bad touching are brought across. Telephone numbers are also given to memorize.

The Child Protection Week programme has been running for four consecutive years in Thabazimbi. The children by now remember steps they should take when confronted by evil meaning people. They have to shout “No No No”, run away and ask for help. The puppet show song is also a winner with the youngsters and sung at full volume.

As in the past the presenters of the programme succeed excellently in getting the children to participate. At the end, small gifts are handed out to those who could answer questions correctly.

Many of the schools have made coins and canned food contributions and at other schools food has been distributed. Many individuals and supermarkets donate food and clothes generously towards the work of the SAVF.

On Monday about 400 Grade 1, 2 and 3’s at Ysterberg Primary witnessed the puppet show, presented by CARE group members. Other schools visited during the past two weeks include Thabazimbi and surrounding crèches, Bosveld Akademie, small schools such as Rabogale, Monageng and Fairfield, Istores Primary and Van Wykskraal.

Hennie Pauw