Child Safety and Protection
This programme is aimed at ensuring child safety in schools. The Fund has drawn on its experience in this area and from various subject matter specialists.
The violence in schools manifests itself in numerous forms such as corporal punishment, bullying and sexual abuse. The reliable information on violence in schools did not exist till 2008 when the Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention (CJCP) did the research. The follow up research was done in 2012 on corporal punishment and sexual abuse in schools at national level. While Gauteng reduced corporal punishment during the same period other provinces such as Kwazulu Natal, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga saw an increase on the incidences of corporal punishment.
Programme Roll out.
Based on the research findings, the programme will target provinces with high incidences of corporal punishment, sexual abuse and bullying which are mainly Kwa Zulu Natal, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, North West and Limpopo. The target groups will be survivors, perpetrators, educators and school governing bodies. In the past the Fund has implemented a programme called Sexual Violence in Schools in South Africa (SeVISSA) which empowers girls in schools to deal with issues of violence with particular attention to sexual violence. The SeVissa project is operational in the four provinces of Limpopo, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Western Cape.
In the new strategy the Child Safety and Protection programme will focus on the main three violence occurrences in schools with the provinces of Mpumalanga and Kwazulu Natal as the latest additions.
Since inception the Fund has created a comprehensive response which puts family and community at the centre in the fight against sexual violence, safety in schools and exploitation of girls in schools.
The Fund will continue to work with organisations that rehabilitate perpetrators; especially focusing on the young perpetrators with an intent to break the circle of violence. Furthermore the Fund will also spearhead efforts that support children who have witnessed sexual or corporal punishment in schools. Psychosocial support training will be provided for organisations that are working with learners, educators, parents and other civil society organisation which allow them to identify abuse in schools.
The programme's objectives are follows:
To promote healthy relationships between educators, learners and parents
To support schools in creating a safer environment for learning and teaching
To support initiatives that intend to create safety nets for children in and out of school at different levels
To ensure that perpetrators of bullying, sexual abuse, corporal punishment are brought to book
To ensure that relevant authorities act swiftly on issues of abuse against children