Childline recounts the year that has been

Glenis Kay, Maria Miga and Bulelwa Dabula receive long service certificates for their dedication to Childline Gauteng at the organisation's 28th AGM.
Glenis Kay, Maria Miga and Bulelwa Dabula receive long service certificates for their dedication to Childline Gauteng at the organisation's 28th AGM.

 

According to the organisation’s director, Lynne Cawood, the day symbolised Childline’s vision of a united people caring for all the country’s children and promoting a culture of human rights and respect for all.

“Our board member, Andile Stofile, gave the keynote address which inspired us with the traditional African practices of communities taking responsibility for ensuring the continuation of the culture of ubuntu,” said Cawood.

Childline staff members, Glenis Kay, Maria Miga and Bulelwa Dabula were also honoured at the event for their years of service and dedication to the organisation.

Certain key projects aimed at helping children in need in South Africa developed by Childline were highlighted during the meeting:

  • Their 24-hour helpline which takes up to 270 000 calls a year
  • Childline community-based centres – in the inner city, Soweto, Katorus, Tembisa, Sebokeng, Orange Farm and Diepsloot – conducted 9 093 counselling sessions for 1 897 children and their families, 71 group therapy sessions and 68 child development group opportunities
  • The Childline Awareness and Prevention Project reached 90 000 pupils, teachers, parents and community members
  • The Sunlight Safe House, based in Parktown provided, overnight care for 228 children in life-threatening circumstances of abandonment, abuse or neglect, and foster care for 132 children.

“An examination of our Childline statistics, which enhances our understanding of children’s issues, revealed some disturbing trends,” Cawood stated further.

“The highest categories of calls pertained to abuse, family relationship problems, school problems, children in alternative care, neglect, commercial exploitation, children’s behavioural problems, legal problems, homelessness, poverty, substance abuse and psychological problems.”

Her report also indicated that high levels of crime and violence continued to plague South Africa’s children, as 51 percent had witnessed violence, more than 28 000 sexual offences against children were reported since 2011, and three children die of unnatural causes every day in the country – 45 percent of them due to abuse and neglect.

She added that it was Childline’s constitutional obligation to provide each child with a name and nationality, family or alternative care, nutrition, shelter, basic healthcare and social services, protection from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation, exploitative labour practises and detention, and to operate in the child’s best interests at all times.

Desperate children are encouraged to phone the Childline 24-hour, toll-free helpline – 08000 55555 – whenever they need to, especially if they feel there is no one they can talk to.

Details: 011 645 2000

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