Setshabelo Family and Child Services celebrated Child Protection Week with a memorandum handover at the Botshabelo Magistrate’s Court. The organisation was founded in 2014 under the guidance of Bethany Christian Services (BCS) Global, based in the United States and is aimed at raising awareness about child abuse.
Buses transported learners to Simon Moletsane Street in H2 Section in Botshabelo, where the Child Protection Week march started. The learners marched from Lenyora la Thuto High School to the United Reformed Church, holding placards saying ‘enough is enough’.
Learners were the main speakers at the event, delivering speeches and performing in hopes of raising awareness surrounding the issue of child abuse. This was the first time ever the event was celebrated by allowing learners to speak out on the various types of abuse they are facing on a daily basis, while tabling possible solutions.
Setshabelo social worker, Boniswa Bele, told Voice: “Today is a great day because for the first time ever the learners are given a chance to voice out the different types of abuse they are facing every day. We are here today to listen to these children speak. For a change, the parents are listening to their children. We would like to tell parents to protect their children more, because most of these learners say the abuser is someone they know, who, most of the time are bread winners in the family, so the parents turn a blind eye on the issue.”
Tshepo Lebakeng from Hohle Primary School in G Section, said: “This a wonderful day for us as learners to come together to celebrate Child Protection Week. Today we would like to say to the abusers to stop abusing us because this lowers our self-esteem at school as well as our performance. We are thankful for this day as we need to voice the challenges we are facing every day at school and at home.”
“The event went as planned. We are grateful to our learners and their school principals for allowing them to attend, because without the learners there would be no event,” concluded Bele.