In South Africa, one in four children experiences some form of maltreatment during their childhood. This maltreatment can include physical, sexual, and emotional abuse or neglect.

This year, for National Child Protection Week, we wanted to hear how the public can help protect society’s most vulnerable. We spoke to members of Valcare’s Child Protection coordinated effort to gain insight on the matter.

According to our members, the most significant concerns around child protection include unsafe spaces, poverty, neglect, bullying, child trafficking and abduction, and online and sexual exploitation.

MariĂ«tte Jacobs, managing director of Ezrah Community Training and Development and coordinator of the Drakenstein Child Protection Programme, says collaboration is key to advancing children’s safety in our country.

“Child protection an integrated approach. Not one organisation can do everything concerning child protection. Each organisation holds a vital puzzle piece, and together we can build best practices within our communities and beyond.”

SalomĂ© Langmann, operational manager at Ma’s vir Wellington, echoes this statement.

“It takes a village to raise a child. Not every child or situation is the same. Not every form of child abuse, neglect, or family is the same. We need organisations to work together and share their expertise and resources to help children better.”

Watch below to see what other members of the Child Protection coordinated effort had to say about protecting children in our community.