When Safeline Child Abuse Treatment and Prevention Centre marked National Child Protection Week, the focus was on the impact the Covid-19 pandemic had had on children.
The campaign, marked annually from May 29 to June 5, aims to mobilise all sectors of society to ensure that children are cared for and protected. This year’s theme was “Let’s Protect Our Children Together Through Covid-19 And Beyond”.
The aim of the Beacon Valley-based Safeline centre, said director Rochelle Philander, was to provide long-term counselling to child victims of abuse as well as support the family of the child victims.
“Our children have experienced so much trauma during the last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic – grieving, breakdown in school attendance, unemployment, lack of supervision while being at home. These challenges have caused immense mental breakdown. We also stand united in prayer with all the families who have experienced a severe loss, through horrific deaths of their children,” she said.
On Monday May 30 at Portland Indoor Center, each person was asked to light a candle in commemoration of all children and received a green ribbon
“The green refers to life and growth. By wearing the green ribbon it shows that you care and support Child Protection Week. The green ribbon lets victims and survivors know that we are united in their support. It emphasises the importance of partnerships to tackle child abuse, neglect, and exploitation,” said Ms Philander.
“I am reminded of the following statement in the declaration made at the World Summit for Children, in September 1990, aimed at giving every child a better future.
“The children of the world are innocent, vulnerable and dependent. They are also curious, active, and full of hope. Their time should be one of joy and peace, of playing, learning, and growing. Their future should be shaped in harmony and co-operation. Their lives should mature, as they broaden their perspective and gain new experiences.
“We all know that for many children the reality out there is far from the ideal just described,” said Ms Philander.
Safeline’s annual event, held at the Portland Indoor Centre, was attended by, among others, Sub-council 12 chairperson Solomon Philander, and representatives of the National Prosecuting Authority; the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS); the Western Cape Education Department (WCED); ECD Centres; the Mitchell’s Plain Network Opposing Abuse; Alliance Francaise; The Walking Bus as well as Women for Change.
For more information call the centre’s toll free number 0800 035 553 or visit their office at 32 Glider Street, Beacon Valley, Mitchell’s Plain.