Almost daily we are confronted with news headlines of another child who has been hurt badly. The sad part is that there are still people out there who are aware of a child`s suffering, but rather choose to turn a blind eye. Badisa Wynberg`s vision is a community in action, together in ensuring a safe future for our children. The challenge to our readers are therefore: Let us join hands to protect our vulnerable children and help them to prosper.
Badisa Wynberg was able to host their second annual High Tea on 25 March 2017 at the Constantia Dutch Reformed Church Hall. The atmosphere was very sociable, relaxed and filled with lots of fun and laughter. Guests were fortunate to be inspired by the presence of the well-known Radio Tygerberg presenter, writer and inspirational speaker, Benescke Janse Van Rensburg. With the theme “Living beyond yourself” Benescke`s message can be summarised as follows:
- How we can reach out to other people who need us? By getting out of our comfort zones and placing ourselves in other people`s shoes, which will enable us to experience other people`s suffering and pain.
- With the contributions we make, no matter how big or small, we will never realise what impact and difference this makes in someone else’s life.
With the support and donations from surrounding businesses, random spot prizes as well as a gift pack to each attending guest could be offered, as a token of appreciation for their support.
The Management and Staff of Badisa Wynberg would like to thank our supporters and their contribution to help make this such a successful event!
Julene Conradie, die kantoorkoördineerder by Badisa Wynberg, se verhaal spreek van opoffering, verskeie balle in die lug hou, uithou en aanhou. Dalk ook die rede hoekom sy juis die uitdagende aard van maatskaplike werk so goed verstaan asook die leefwêreld van die kinders wat sy moet beveilig.
Sy is oorspronklik van Grabouw se wêreld, waar sy by haar ouma grootgeword het. Haar ma, wat reeds ‘n slagoffer van huweliksgeweld was, was eers ‘n enkelouer, maar het later weer getrou met ‘n man wat haar ook mishandel het. Die blootstelling hieraan, asook aan ‘n familielid wat aan alkohol verslaaf was, het Julene in haar Standard 8- jaar daarvan oortuig om in ‘n maatskaplike rigting te studeer.
We stand at the beginning of the year and it’s hard to believe that more than a quarter has already gone by. Time flies, you would say. And I couldn’t agree more, but in answer to that I would also say, “It’s time”. It’s time that the people of this country say no to corruption, no to murder, no to rape, no to abuse and no to all the wrongs in this beautiful country we live in. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 the Lord gives us this beautiful promise: “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Children are the future of this country.
By investing in children’s basic education, we are contributing to the country’s development and
creating a literate and self-sufficient society.
– Rick Corsino
Through the Boksie for Buksies project, we are providing day mothers with the necessary skills to educate pre-school children. This ensures school readiness and it keeps the children safe during the day when their parents are at work. We recently hosted a training day in Westlake to empower 6 new day mothers to improve the level of education for the children in their area.
“My daddy is a qualified paramedic, my mommy wanted to become an accountant but when she was retrenched at work she became involved in substance abuse and ended up cleaning houses.”
These are the words of Tasneem* a beautiful 13-year old girl, wearing a coral summer dress and a silver pendant hanging from her neck, as she tells me how she ended up as the main carer in a child-headed household – having to beg for food for her 6 siblings every night. She took full responsibility to get her brothers and sisters ready for school every day, helping them with homework and putting them to bed.
16 Days of Activism: Why protecting out children is an investment, not a cost
We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in society, a life free from violence and fear. – Nelson Mandela
As South Africa is about to embark on the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, we turn our eyes to the most vulnerable in our society, the children.
In their recent Annual Report, social services organisation, Badisa, reports on the ever growing problem of violence against children. They are a designated agency who delivers child protection services under the auspices of the Children’s Act. Children are growing up in a violent society where they experience violence in their communities and families from a very early age. They further experience the violence at schools and are suffering at the hands of their primary caregivers due to neglect and abuse.
They further report that it is a well-known fact that our child protection system is not able to cater for the current statistics of child neglect and abuse as adequate financial and human resources do not exist. The major contributor here is also the fact that child protection is aimed at reactive service delivery, whereas early intervention is what is really needed.
CHILD PROTECTION WEEK: A PARTNERSHIP APPROACH
National Child Protection Week (CPW) is commemorated in South Africa annually to raise awareness of the rights of children as articulated in the Children's Act of 2005. The campaign is led by the Minister of Social Development; however it is incumbent on all of us to play a role in protecting children and creating a safe and secure environment for them. Children in South Africa live in a society with a Constitution that has the highest regard for their rights and for the equality and dignity of everyone. The aim of child protection is to ensure the safety, well-being, care and protection of children through an integrated multi-disciplinary approach.
Reducing the high levels of violence against children is among South Africa’s most overwhelming tasks, yet it requires a partnership approach.
Says Ronel van Zyl, Director of Social Services at Badisa, “Children is our future, yet, they are treated as if they are worthless. They suffer abuse and neglect at the hands of their parents and primary caregivers and the cycle of abuse leads to a future generation of parents who also abuse or neglect their children. Our communities are disintegrating and lacking moral fibre. The change in family structures, lack of support for new parents and the pressure of modern day living are all contributing factors. We need to start creating communities that care for their children, raise awareness and intervene before it is too late”.
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Why do parents abuse their children? - Read our blog
Child Protection Month: What causes parents to abuse their children?
Children in South Africa live in a society with a Constitution that has the highest regard for their rights and for the equality and dignity of everyone. Protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse is not only a basic value, but also an obligation that is clearly set out in Article 28 of the South African Constitution. Despite the best efforts of the South African Government and civil society to protect children from child abuse, neglect and exploitation, many children still remain vulnerable.
There is some heartbreaking reading in our Constitution
The Constitution has been designed to protect us. A well-constructed set of legal rules and conscience to create a better society. Section 28 which highlights the rights of children (http://leadsa.co.za/?p=13806 ) provides sobering reading. And perhaps the most poignant statement of all is right at the top of the list:
• Every child has the right to a name and a nationality from birth
It’s hard to believe there are parents who wouldn’t bother – or are unable – to give their child a name. We name everything that we want a personal connection with – our pets, houses, ships, even our cars. A name is more than mere acknowledgement, it is an affirmation of both existence and individuality. It is the basis of identity. Just imagine, right now, that you have no name – nothing. How would you reference yourself in relation to anybody or anything around you?
THE CONSTITUTION, CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AND YOUR COMMITMENT
There is some heartbreaking reading in our Constitution. They say South Africa has one of the best Constitutions in the world – and yet every day we are reminded of the violence so often leveled at women and children.
Reading the Constitution is edifying enough, but Section 28 which outlines the rights of children, will take your breath away. Why? Because you will be horrified that rules such as these are still required in the 21st century to protect the most defenseless in our society against ordinary citizens. As human beings we should recoil in shame.
Every year in November we find ourselves amidst activists radically campaigning for 16 days in an attempt to stop the senseless violence against women and children. Suddenly we are confronted with the sad remains of abuse, either physical or emotionally, seen scattered amongst our society throughout the generations.
So today we chose not to focus on the violence, the verbal abuse, the emotional pain, the social isolation and the scarring.
Are you or do you know a woman that is constantly living in uncertainty and with anxiety, who struggles to see how much she is worth? What about the most vulnerable of all, our children? We have an incredible responsibility to keep our children safe. But every day, there are still children who have to be removed from their homes because their parents are too broken themselves to care for them - stripped of the capacity to give love because they are too caught up in the grip of addiction, violence, and lies.
Pencil this down!
By now most people know that 25 November to 10 December marks the annual and world-wide 16 Days of Activism of no Violence against Women and Children.
Like many of these campaign drives, raising awareness in both the broader public, and among the victims of abuse, remains the key to affecting real change. But how do you reach a child that is scared, has no means of gaining access to the people who can help them or is perhaps not even aware that there is help since abuse is the only “normal” they know?
It starts with every person or community who makes the conscious decision to get actively involved instead of merely hearing about it every year and remaining in bystander mode. Every journey begins with a step. That is literally all it takes to make a difference!
Badisa Wynberg has created a project which equips seventy (70) day mothers (from underprivileged communities) with the tools and knowledge to each provide six vulnerable pre-school children access to formal home based Early Childhood Development (ECD).
This is achieved by providing educational equipment and monthly training workshops on the development of pre-school children, quarterly home visit support, as well as creating networking opportunities for the day mothers themselves.
Each day mother has training and exposure to the following essential aspects of ECD:
- Equipping the educator to assist the child towards emotional development and wellness
- Partnering with parents to enhance the development of pre-school children
- Identification, management and reporting of children at risk of abuse and/or neglect
- Emotional wellness of the adult educator as day mother
- Initiation of a support network between EDC carers in order to increase capability building.
ECD Bright boxes training workshop on 20 September 2014.
Thank you Lucy's for the catering. Please visit their Facebook page.
Bright Box project sponsorship of porridge for Day Mothers in Westlake – JAM
Eye on the Child is a community-based programme in Westlake and its success is based on the participation of community volunteers.
A group of ten (10) community mothers called “Westlake Mothers-in-Action” has taken the responsibility to provide safety to children, from this developing community, in times of high risk. After hours and over weekends, these Mothers-in-Action will provide short-term emergency safe houses for abused, neglected and exploited children.
These community leaders, trained by Badisa Wynberg, are now operating parenting-support programmes to interested community members.
The Mothers-in-Action project plays a pivotal role in identifying and referring children and families in need of care and protection. They are also setting an example of good leadership, solid family values and positive role modeling to the next generation.