October is Anti-bullying Month.
Beverly Davids, chairwoman of the campaign, is encouraging residents to increase awareness about the prevalence and impact of bullying on children of all ages.
With limited resources and no funding, the campaign has been to schools, orphanages, churches and youth camps in Cape Town and Durban. She has worked in Mitchell’s Plain, Strandfontein, Tokai, Belhar, Mossel Bay and Gansbaai. The campaign’s visit entails a presentation, discussion session and it does annual hikes.
“We need to remind parents and children that bullying is not okay. So, during our sessions, we would speak about bullying and the types of bullying such as emotional, physical, cyber and verbal bullying. We also inform our young people what they should do when they are being bullied,” she said.
She said the lives of children are important and bullying can have a negative impact on their well-being.
“Bullying can lead to depression and anxiety. Victims will start isolating themselves and will become really sad. With the change in their behaviour, their eating patterns will change too,” she warned.
Ms Davids said over the past two years the organisation has noticed that bullying has become an increasing problem in schools.
“The issue is real, and it is traumatising our children – they fear going to school, their grades will decrease and sooner or later they will drop out.
“Another worrying factor is that bullying can persist into adulthood,” she said.
The campaign was established in October 2014 in memory of the late Chauncey Davids, 14, who died in an explosion at his home on Thursday May 29 in 2014 when an experiment involving a deodorant can and a lighter went horribly wrong for the Grade 9 Mondale High School pupil.
Ms Davids decided to start the campaign because she said her son was bullied at Harvester Primary School in Westridge for three years.
At the time, Ms Davids was the chairwoman of the school’s governing body.
In March 2014 the campaign was registered as an NPO and has already visited 18 schools around Cape Town.
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