CAPTION: Grade R learners at Witkoppen Primary School have fun with the rights and responsibilities mascot, courtesy of SANCA, during National Child Protection Week.

In celebration of National Child Protection Week which took place from 30 May 2016 – 02 June 2016, the National Children and Violence Trust (NCVT), together with partner organisations, hosted awareness campaigns on children’s rights and responsibilities at different primary schools in Gauteng. The South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SANCA), the South African Drug and Anxiety Group (SADAG) and non-profit organisation, Childline joined NCVT for activities throughout the week which ended last week Wednesday, 01 June 2016 in Lanseria.

NCVT Social Workers were welcomed by enthusiastic faces at each school as they campaigned for children’s rights throughout National Child Protection Week. Witkoppen Primary School in Fourways, Bassa Primary School in Diepsloot and Nooitgedacht Primary School in Lanseria were among the schools visited during the week. The Social Workers educated learners on the importance of being responsible minors and to be mindful of their rights. The campaign kicked-off on Friday 27 May 2016, with grade R learners at Witkoppen Primary School reciting their rights with excitement as the Social Workers listened. “I have a right to be loved and I have a right to be protected,” shouted the little ones. The learners were equally excited to play with the bear mascot as they ended off their first day of the National Child Protection Week.

A confident grade four learner at Nooitgedacht Primary School performeda poem titled “Children’s Declaration” which highlighted his rights as a child. Teachers thanked the Social Workers for educating and inspiring children at their schools. They also reminded the learners how important it was to be vigilant at all times and to not talk to strangers unless in the company of a trusted adult.

“It’s so important that learners realise that they can take responsibility for their actions and that their rights should not overwrite their responsibilities at home and at school,” says NCVT Senior Social Worker, Nokwazi Dlamini.

NCVT Social Workers shared a list of rights and responsibilities, published by the National Programme of Action (NPA) for Children in South Africa, with learners at each school:

  • Having the right to be heard, means you are equally responsible for listening to other people and respecting them.
  • The right to good health care, especially when sick means you are also responsible for taking care of your health.
  • The right to be loved and protected from harm comes with the responsibility of caring for others.
  • Having the right to go to school and learn comes with respecting teachers.
  • Having the right to a safe, happy and comfortable home means keeping that home clean and tidy at all times.
  • The right to enough food means that you shouldn’t be wasteful with the food you have.
  • Having the right to make mistakes, means taking responsibility by learning from those mistakes.

“NCVT commends teachers and learners for their positive response during this week. It was so wonderful to see how eager the children were to answer questions and participate in these very important discussions,” concludes Dlamini.

To make donations to NCVT or volunteer, members of the community can contact ncvtprojects@iafrica.com | +27 11 705-1960 | +27 11 467 4936. For more about NCVT, please visit www.ncvt.co.za.