The month of May is child protection month in South Africa and this year child protection week is celebrated from 28 May to 4 June 2018. Valcare members, KIN Culture and KiBWE have also successfully registered the very first World Foster Day that will be celebrated on 31 May 2018.
Here are 10 ways of how your organisation, church or business can celebrate the value of children and create awareness for child protection during May:
1. GO GREEN FOR AWARENESS
The Green Ribbon was adopted by the National Child Protection Committee in 1994 and symbolises life and growth associated with children as well as the nurturing of children.
Let your staff and volunteers wear green ribbons and tie green material or ribbons around the fences and trees of your organisation’s building. You can also let people write positive messages about child protection on cards and tie these messages together with green ribbons.
2. TEACH CHILDREN THEIR RIGHTS
Encourage child participation by doing activities together with the children in your organisation, church or family:
- Teach children their rights as outlined by the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC, 1990) and The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.
- Teach children protective behaviours and how to report abuse.
- Let the children make posters and banners with verses, statements and children’s rights written on them.
- Let your children plant a tree as a commitment to nurture every generation so that the next generation may be stronger.
- Let your children write messages on green balloons and have a balloon ceremony.
3. EMPOWER YOUR STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
Organise child protection training to equip your staff and volunteers to make child protection a priority, especially with regard to the new Children’s Act.
4. VISIBLE PROTESTS
Display child protection posters in your organisation and community to raise awareness for child protection.
5. PRAY TOGETHER
Visit www.worldweekendofprayer.com to download prayer and activity resources.
6. GET TALKING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Create awareness for child protection by using the hash tag #ChildProtectionMonth and sharing stories and resources that could educate, inspire and inform.
7. HELP WITH IDENTIFICATION KITS
Equip and work together with parents to put Interim ID kits together for their children by downloading these kits at www.missingchildren.org.za. These kits may be helpful to speed up the process of locating a missing child.
8. PARTICIPATE IN #WORLDFOSTERDAY
For the very first time, World Foster Day will be celebrated on 31 May 2018. To raise awareness, draw a smiley face on any three fingers, capture your family of smiley faces by taking a picture and share it on social media on 31 May 2018 using #worldfosterday. (For more info, click here).
9. JOIN FORCES FOR GREATER IMPACT
Partner together with churches and organisations in your community to launch child protection initiatives and forums.
Valcare is part of the Drakenstein Child Protection Steering Group along with Ezrah, Khula Development Group and other organisations to discuss and facilitate initiatives.
10. BE VIGILANT AND REPORT
Keep a look out for children in need or at-risk in your community and report child abuse/neglect to a social worker or the South African Police Service.
Additional helpful resources and websites
Ideas and resources compiled by Mariëtte Jacobs in partnership with Valcare, Connect Network and the Drakenstein Child Protection Steering Group to promote child protection.