Afrika Tikkun’s Child Protection Week: United against child abuse

As South Africa approached a pivotal moment in its democracy with the 7th democratic general elections, Afrika Tikkun launched its annual Child Protection Week, starting on 28 May.

This initiative served as a clarion call to all citizens to uphold and defend the rights of the youngest members of our society. The campaign’s first engagement was at Mphethi Mahlatsi Secondary, where Arekopaneng staff members from various programmes enlightened Grade 8 and 9 students about the critical importance of child rights.

The message was clear: every child deserves to grow in a safe and nurturing environment.The outreach continued at Pudumo Primary School, where the conversation turned to bullying-a prevalent issue that threatens the well-being of children.

The team provided guidance on reporting abuse and highlighted support systems like the Arekopaneng Centre, a beacon of hope for those in need.The highlight was a vibrant parade on 4 June, led by staff, stakeholders and beneficiaries of the Bambanani, Level Up and Head Start Programmes. They took to the streets of Extension 8b, raising awareness and demonstrating the community’s dedication to protecting its children.

The parade was followed by a focal event at the Arekopaneng Sports Hall, featuring a panel discussion aptly titled ‘Every Conversation Matters’. Esteemed representatives from the Child Protection Unit of SAPS, SASSA, Home Affairs, Childline and Love Life shared their invaluable experiences in handling child protection cases and strategies to counteract abuse.

The audience, comprising beneficiaries, staff and parents from Afrika Tikkun’s programmes, engaged in a meaningful exchange of concerns and solutions with the panellists, fostering a collaborative approach to child protection. The day concluded with beneficiaries expressing their perspectives through art, which not only enriched the panel discussion but also set the stage for performances that captured the essence of empowerment and hope.

Afrika Tikkun’s Child Protection Week stands as a testament to the collective effort required to safeguard our children. It’s a reminder that every conversation, every action and every moment dedicated to child protection is a step towards a safer, brighter future for all children.

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