Govt gears up for 16 Days campaign

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

By Gabi Khumalo

Diepsloot – Government is set to do things differently during this year’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign by visiting and engaging more with communities.

The Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, said as part of this year’s campaign, the department is partnering with the Gauteng provincial government, including Johannesburg Metro. They will visit Diepsloot to raise awareness and educate the community about responsible parenting.

“We won’t just stop there. We will also go to the schools and Early Childhood Development centres to educate our children not to follow strangers. If they [are touched inappropriately], they must report that immediately to a teacher, parent, pastor or any community member they trust.

“The activities will also include a door-to-door campaign and meetings with the communities,” said Xingwana.

The department will work with local municipalities to look at the needs of children in Diepsloot. She said that children in the area don’t have recreational facilities and need access to health, educational and sport facilities.

“We believe that our children, including children with disabilities, should have access to services ... Our department shall continue to facilitate maximum participation of children in matters that affect them and their future.

“We will continue to advocate for platforms to raise their views because we believe we can’t do these things alone. Our children must be given an opportunity to have a say on where they want to play and what their needs are.”

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children is an international campaign. It takes place every year from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day). The period includes Universal Children’s Day and World Aids Day.

During this time, the South African Government runs a 16 Days of Activism campaign to make people aware of the negative impact of violence on women and children and to act against abuse. 

The campaign will be observed under the theme ‘Vikela Mzansi Kwanele - Communities United in Preventing Violence against Women and Children’.

Children’s plan approved

Meanwhile, Xingwana said government would work collectively to translate the National Action Plan for Children into tangible action.

“The National Plan of Action will address key issues, which include child survival, child development, protection and care for children, standard of living of children in South Africa and how we can improve that,” Xingwana said.

She further stressed the importance for parents, community organisations, care givers and professionals to participate in platforms created to equip and train them to service their children and communities better.

“It is crucial that we invest more time, effort and exercise more vigilance to ensure that all our children around the country are safe and protected. Twenty years into our democracy, our democratic government has done a lot for our children, but we acknowledged that a lot more still needs to be done.

“We must continue to build a South Africa where our children feel safe and secure, and that responsibility falls on us as government and also on families, parents and communities. Our children need support from all of us,” Xingwana said. –