[CAPTION] Almost 200 Grade 5 to 9 pupils from Rabasotho Combined School marched through Diepsloot to protest against crime and violence in the area. Accompanied by the National Children and Violence Trust, they handed over a memorandum of concerns to the Diepsloot Police Station’s station manager. 

The group of learners and NCVT staff walked through the streets of Diepsloot on Friday, 25 November 2016, singing and shouting boisterously. The learners held up placards that read, “Protect us from abuse!” and “We are the leaders of tomorrow”. They were marching to the Diepsloot Police Station to hand over a memorandum of concerns as part of 16 Days of Activism, under the watchful eye of the National Children and Violence Trust (NCVT) staff.

In preparation for the peace walk, the learners made the placards themselves once NCVT social workers had discussed challenges in the community with them. The NCVT staff had compiled the memorandumof concerns with input from social workers, the learners and members of the community. The list of concerns includes a quicker response time by the police to reports of violence and the increased use of Victim Empowerment Centres in Diepsloot to assist victims of violence and abuse.

“Learners should know that they are never too young to make a difference,” says Mpumi Mndaweni, senior social worker at NCVT. “We see the signs of abuse every day; it is time for it to end. With the help of community members, even the young ones, we can stop the violence rife within our communities. The learners will never forget this experience.”

This walk is the first of two for 16 Days of Activism; the second is taking place with the Grade 8 learners from Far North High School in Cosmo City tomorrow, 29 November 2016 at 10:00. NCVT will also speak to learners from Zandspruit Primary School in Zandspruit on Monday, 05 December 2016 from 10:00 to 12:00 to help create awareness about abuse, violence and AIDS.

For more information about NCVT or to make a donation, contact +27 11 705 1960 or visit http://www.ncvt.co.za/. Join NCVT’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/The-National-Children-Violence-Trust-NCVT-197670257245796/or tweet them @NCVT_ZA.