As part of the governments official Crime awareness and Child Protection week which was celebrated from 29 May till 5 June 2022, Thabazimbi Correctional Services arranged for a special venue at Deo Gloria Primary School in Regorogile Thabazimbi to convey the real purpose of this week to the senior learners at a level to emphasize the importance thereof to all children.
Wimpie de Koker, Head Community Corrections Thabazimbi, emphasized that the children of the school were unknowingly victims of crime, referring to a project by Correctional Services to establish a vegetable garden at the school in support of a feeding scheme at the school.
After providing a borehole fitted with a pump which ran off power supplied by sun panels, they supplied parolee labour to cultivate the land and prepare the vegetable beds as well as supplying the irrigated system coupled to the new borehole and pump system.
Long before the vegetables were ready to be harvested, disaster struck when criminals entered the fenced-off area and stole the sun panels including the pump and water sprayers, leaving the vegetables to die because of a lack of irrigation.
As a result of that they deprived needy children of basic nutritional feeding at school which they would otherwise not receive at home. This directly abuses the right of a child to enjoy healthy food.
The social worker, Zama Mthembu, working in conjunction with correctional services explained the purpose of the day, namely to be made aware of crime and the protection every child deserves.
The only obligation expected from a child is to remain at school until the age of 18 years. During this period they are entitled to certain rights including not to be subjected to abuse. It is the child’s right too say no to any form of abuse. Bullying is the most intense way of abuse where bullies will intimidate their victims constantly trying to break them down emotionally.
The way to prevent this kind of behaviour is to respect your elders, parents and teachers. This was further emphasized by Mr John Monyamathe, A/C Social Reintegration Rustenburg Management Area, when he told learners to report any known bullying to teachers and those with the authority to do something about it.
If you should realize that you have wronged somebody, just ask for forgiveness. Make sure to identify wrong and misleading information and do not fall into the trap of bullies by getting involved with their efforts in bullying someone else.
The other important message which was conveyed was that crime does not pay. Think before you do anything wrong and have respect for other people and their property.
Another subject was that of the use of drugs and other substances like alcohol and smoking. Parents must get involved with the schools which their kids attent. They cannot and should not rely on the school solely to ensure that their kids are well behaved and follow the guidelines in terms of alcohol and drug abuse.
The example set at home plays a very important role in how the child will behave in life. It is no good to spend years in jail because of following a poor example set by elders. You decide for yourself whether to follow a bad example or not. Do not follow the example which could ruin your life.
The Mayor of Thabazimbi Municipality, The Honorary Councilor Tokkie Swanepoel, was very well received by the learners of Deo Gloria School. In her address she mentioned that the aim of this Child week was to draw the attention to the fact that all our children deserve to be protected.
Children are reminded the whole time about things which they may do and other which the should not do. These include not to get involved with crime and to take care of your own body.
She also mentioned that apart from learning to speak Setswana by the end of her five year term, her big commitment, as part of an effort to keep the children occupied and out of mischief, is to fight to provide sporting facilities closer to home in order to keep the children and youngsters positively engaged and channel their energy into something meaningful.
Children are the future generation and therefore they are entitled to the best education possible. Learners should be eager and feel free to attent schools, and not be in fear. Become self-disciplined to beter yourself by getting a decent education and do not do it just because other people expect from you to attend school. By setting the example, you will realize that your parents and those around you, really care.
Be proud of the town and your house by looking after the place you share with so many other people. The first commitment you have is to ensure a clean and orderly environment by not littering – littering is no form of work creation. Nobody is paid to clear the liter you leave behind.
She concluded by saying: “The future is open for everybody, the choice to be educated lies in your own hands and, be proud of yourself as a child who is not involved with drugs or crime.”