It’s that time of year, where the days are warmer, we look forward to some time off from work to spend with our loved ones, we go gift shopping and plan our Christmas meals. The kids page through toy catalogues and make their lists for what they want Santa Claus to leave for them on Christmas morning. It’s a joyous and merry time of the year. Yet, there are children in our country who won’t find the same joy this festive season as our own children. For some families, the festive season sees a rise in substance abuse which means a rise in child abuse and neglect.
16 days of Activism For No Violence Against Women and Children kicked off on 25 November. The Child Protection Office at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital sees an average of 40 to 50 cases of child abuse every month. That’s close to 600 cases a year. 600 stories of empty childhoods. The Child Protection Office intervenes in every case of abuse and neglect to ensure the best possible outcome for these children. This often means that a child is removed from its home and relocated to a place of safety. In these situations, the child will often leave with just the clothes on their back.
If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll see I’ve been sharing some stories of children that have been removed from their homes. It’s heartbreaking and makes me question how any human being can act in such disgusting ways to a defenseless child. My children drive me crazy and I’m often found seeking a minute of solitude in the bathroom but there is no way I will ever let any harm come to them. And when I read these stories, I just want to hug them a little tighter and teach them to be better humans than the ones that are roaming our streets.
The Child Protection Office creates packs for children in situations like these. The packs are age dependent and include things like hygiene products, toys and snacks. The festive season usually brings with it a critical shortage in the number of packs they are able to supply. So they’ve asked the public for help. Please see the list below and contact either Nicole Lincoln from the Child Protection Office or myself to arrange for drop-offs. If you’d rather make a monetary donation, please go to their website. All funds raised go directly to their priority projects and programmes with the aim is to help fund the amazing Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and support paediatric healthcare in South Africa.
We need to be the change. If you can make a donation, no matter how big or small as every little contribution helps, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please ask your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, random dude on the other side of the road (jokes, don’t do that) if they can assist in any way. Let’s see how we can help these children this year.Follow us on social media to see more