They also prioritise children’s health and ensure that education becomes fashionable to the children.
Tenacity Magazine: Tell us what Save the Children is and what work do you do?
Save the Children: Save the Children is an International Non-governmental organization, which was founded in 1919 by Egyicine Jebb, our pioneering work provided relief for children in World War 1. First to assert our rights for the child in 1924, the only independent NGO allowed Return to Vietnam 1990 and were agile, at the forefront of the fight against Ebola in 2014. Now a global movement is working in 120 countries across 6 continents. Save the Children South Africa (SCSA) is a member country to Save the Children international.
Tenacity Magazine: As Save the Children you are uplifting children on education and economic development in Limpopo. You can also give us more on this aspect.
Save the Children: Our Promise is do whatever it takes to save children. Every child deserves a future. In South Africa and around the world, we work every day to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. When crisis strikes and children are most vulnerable, we are always among the first to respond and the last to leave. We ensure children’s unique needs are met and their voices are heard. We deliver lasting results for millions of children, including those hardest to reach. We are a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. We inspire breakthrough in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.
Tenacity Magazine: What projects are you focusing on to ensure the children’s safety?
Save the Children: We started off with Children on the Move project in Musina area in Limpopo since 2006. The organization has grown with its programmes implemented in Limpopo and currently have six projects implemented in the province under four thematic areas namely; Child Rights Governance, Child Protection Education, Health and Nutrition. Names of projects are, Sireletsa Bana, Youth Engagement & Socio Economic Empowerment Project. The projects are currently implemented in Vhembe and Capricorn Districts in Limpopo.
Save the Children also do a lot of work around abuse and social matter but our aim in the province is to showcase the work they do for education and economic emancipation.
Tenacity Magazine: What does your Education and Health projects entails?
Save the Children: We do a lot of work in and around schools to contribute towards education of learners from Early Childhood Development centers, primary schools (starting from children who are still at foundation phases), secondary schools, tertiary students and out of school youth in communities where our projects are implemented. The Education intervention focuses much on improving leaner performance, improving the literacy and numeracy. All our interventions contribute to the holistic child development milestones. The following projects are implemented in Limpopo to address specific issues affecting Children and youth. (Projects are listed according to their specific thematic area.)
Health and Nutrition thematic area: In June 2016, SCSA established the Sireletsa Bana Health and Nutrition project in Capricorn District in Limpopo. Sireletsa Bana is a health and nutrition project for children under 5 years of age funded by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The project is funded for 3 years, from June 2016 to May 2019. The Project’s goal is to contribute to Universal Health Coverage and health system strengthening in South Africa by 2019, specifically to increase access to quality health and nutrition services for children less than five years. The project objectives are to strengthen the quality, supply and access to health and nutrition services provided to young children and their mothers by providing capacity building training to both Community Health Workers and ECD Practitioners. They generate community interest on the promotion of young children’s optimal growth and development through community awareness events. They also strengthen the enabling environment for local health and nutrition services.
The Project is operating in Limpopo at Capricorn District, and Free State at Thaba Mofutsanyane District and our targets are to build the capacity of 300 Frontline Healthcare workers and 450 ECD Practitioners, and to improve the quality and essential health services for 11250 children less than 5 years of age and 5625 parents and primary care givers.
Tenacity Magazine: You seem to be more focused in to children’s rights, what projects are you focusing on in relation to children’s right?
Save the Children: We have projects called, Child Rights Governance Thematic Area, and there we are having two projects implemented under this thematic area. Child Rights Governance Project also known as Vikela N’wana – Although South Africa has emerged as a global actor and attained middle-income status, the situation of its children is dire with high levels of violence and violation of children’s rights. Save the Children South Africa (SCSA) will implement Child Rights Governance project to ensure maximum impact. The key issues addressed by the project include lack of access to services for all children, irrespective of their legal status in the community, lack coordination and joint actions by civil society organizations (CSOs) to advocate for children rights participation in development programmes and lack of implementation and monitoring of concluding observations from treaty bodies. The programme also seeks to address the resource gap in the government allocation for children rights and prevention programmes, lack of knowledge, awareness and enforcement on children rights and business principles and lack of utilization of systematic and meaningful children’s participation in its child-rights governance system by media, politicians and decision-makers in South Africa.
We also have Youth Engagement and Socio – Economic Empowerment Project – In 2017, Save the Children South Africa (SCSA) received 30 months funding from the European Union through the Save the Children Italy as the Lead Applicant to implement this project together with Education with Enterprise Trust (EWET) in two districts in Limpopo. The overall aim of the project is to ensure that disadvantaged young people, under-skilled youth Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Youth Networks (YNs) have increased capacity to actively contribute to decision-making processes, social development and livelihoods in their communities. This project targets 15 to 25 year olds which gives Save the Children an opportunity to work older age group and young people out of school.
Tenacity Magazine: Please share with us some of the positive stories about children you assisted with bursary or access to some opportunity after trauma or social challenges.
Save the Children: We have positive story on the project called Sireletsa Bana project which brought such positive change in the lives of ECD practitioners in terms of equipping them to take better care of children in 75 ECD Centers in the Capricorn District – 90 ECD Practioners were trained on Accredited Trainings on how to manage an ECD Center and Community Health Awareness Days campaigns have far improved the lives of the children and empower mothers and caregivers and supported 04 ECD forums. A total of 08 Breastfeeding support groups for mothers have been established with the project working closely with 45 Primary Healthcare Centers.
“We facilitated workshops that gave insight on how government is structured from national, provincial and local government and how the process of Integrated Development Plans is undertaken from the local government level. To this end, children and civil society organizations understood municipal processes and identified gaps in relation to their level of participation and how they can start getting involved in ward based committee activities. Participants understood that participating in municipal IDP processes does not require any political affiliation”.
YESEEP increased awareness, skills and knowledge of 1194 young people on socio – economic rights, entrepreneurship, sexual reproductive health and substance abuse through teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, gender equality and in – school Entrepreneurship Education interventions. In addition, 320 young people received trainings and interventions on employability skills, entrepreneurship skills and financial literacy interventions primarily to improve their income and economic resilience.
“Young people are responding well to project interventions; they strongly believe that the project created opportunities for exposure; enlightened and linked them with the existing opportunities within the government and private sector. Furthermore, they reported that this project empowered and equipped them with necessary skills, knowledge and information to make informed decisions and influence decisions that affect their lives and livelihood”.
Through our Education project’s Thuto ke Lefa, Save the Children South Africa is able to note the following key results to date which includes the following: provided capacity building workshops to about 1200 parents in the target communities with a focus of giving them skills to engage their children in the literacy and numeracy acquisition of skills. The project has also been able to train almost 70 ECCD practitioners and foundation phase educators on best approaches to stimulate children in literacy and numeracy. Several meetings have been convened through the project to share information with district and provincial level officials in Limpopo. The project has also been able to establish around 30 reading camps comprising of over 1770 children from the 12 target primary schools. This has taken the project closer to achieving its goal of enhancing literacy and numeracy outcomes of children. The reading camps are particularly important in the implementation of the project as it encourages children to set up platforms outside their formal school set up and interact in a fun and engaging way on their acquisition of literacy and numeracy.
Children on the Move noted key results whereby our cultural mediators have identified and helped resolve cases of many children in Vhembe and Capricorn districts. In Musina one of the cultural mediators has facilitated the enrollment of undocumented children into schools since the beginning of the year. This we do under the provision of the constitution that every child should have access to basic education as well as the universal right to education despite status. From January 2018 to date we have managed to facilitate the enrollment of over 20 children into school after, who ordinarily were facing various barriers to access education mainly due to non-documentation.
We have also assisted a child who was chronically to be in a position to have his medication delivered to him through the mobile clinic and our relationship with Department of health. We have also assisted a child in Malamulele to get a national Identification document through the facilitation of our cultural mediator in the area.
Child Protection Project also witnessed change in attitude and behavior regarding violence against children from stakeholders such as educators, parents / caregivers, children, district officials, school leadership & communities we managed to reach in 2017 through Child Protection Project. The department of education expressed an overwhelming need for positive discipline programme, to combat corporal punishment which is claiming lives and sometimes led to physical disability of children in their schools.
Tenacity Magazine: Please tell us about the possibilities to can overcome social challenges. What can citizens do, not to only look at themselves as victims but looking at the brighter side in life?
Save the Children: By going back to the basics, old ways of doing things while also appreciating and embracing development, democracy and social interactions. We need to have the society that that still upholds the principles of Ubuntu. Save the children believes that the rights of the children need to be recognized and respected by all. Government departments; communities; private institutions, civil society organizations, families and individuals have a responsibility to ensure that children’s rights are promoted, protected and realized.
As a society, we need to create child and youth friendly platforms that empowers and capacitate children and youth on their rights and responsibilities. Children need to be given a voice and be heard as they have the right to be involved in decisions that affect their lives at home, schools and within the community.
Furthermore Save the children believe that every child deserves a chance and that every child deserves the right to be heard.