Solutions: Mandela Day 2017
In my last blog post, I highlighted the absolute horror that has befallen our country. Women and children are going missing every day, and our authorities are battling to keep up with the cases as they're reported. It might seem irrelevant, but one of the critical ways we can help is to actually educate our children.
There are two fundamental reasons for this. Our children are currently the most vulnerable of us all, both as victims and as potential perpetrators of the crime we fear most. Every criminal was also once a child.
Vulnerable child. Image source: Luyo Defo
Educating our children, to prevent them from becoming victims, means we need to invest in meeting their physical, mental and emotional needs. Each and every one of us is responsible for making children feel safe and comfortable, and knowing that right now there are just so many predators lurking around, we should be educating students, sons, daughters, nieces, nephews and neighbours on how to identify predators and what to do.
In order to support our teachers, parents, siblings and other individuals in approaching this monumental task, we need to make sure that our methods and techniques are accessible and interesting for children. Loads of visual aids, acting and role playing work well: this is where you can contact CAFB to come into your school or community centre to facilitate a Safe Space Workshop for children as young as 5 years old, all the way through to teenagers and adults, educators and other course administrators.
The difficult, yet necessary, realisation that even criminals were once children needs to also guide the way we behave. We need to show unconditional love and care toward children, to be patient and kind so that they come to learn and understand that the world can be full of positivity, and there is no need to turn toward bullying, hurting or stealing from other people. So many people currently turn toward substance abuse and gangs just to feel like they fit in, and are accepted.
Again, this is where the CAFB fits in and makes a real difference. There are also other programmes that offer social cohesion, but none quite like the CAFB. Anyone, from anywhere, of any appearance is welcome to come and join the programme, to learn new skills and meet people who share a passion for living life to the fullest.
This Mandela Day we are donating books to Gokul Primary School in Isipingo. We would love if you could donate any old or unwanted books, especially if you have children's books about safety, life skills and how to cope with parents' divorce, abuse at home or sexual harassment. You may contact us directly to collect books from your home or office, and you're welcome to join us on the day but please remember that volunteer space is limited.