R500 000 boost for Child Welfare SA

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The campaign will now continue throughout the year, said Deputy Minister for Provincial and Local Government Nomatyala Hangana on Friday, speaking at the event held for the cheque handover.

The donation comes in the wake of moves by government to not only extend the anti-violence campaign to 365 days a year, but also to localise the national campaign at municipal level with the help of the South African Local Government Association (Salga).

A conference with Salga and senior government officials was held at the end of last year to develop year-long plans for action against gender- and child-directed violence at municipal level.

On Friday, the Foschini Group delivered R500 000 to assist Child Welfare South Africa to provide care to abused children throughout the country.

Foschini had singled out the Isolabantwana (Eye of the Children) Child Protection Programme of Child Welfare South Africa as "a good practice, community-based child protection model', the retail group said.

The emphasis in this programme is placed on awareness programmes aimed at preventing abuse, as well as providing interventions and alternative care for children who have fallen victim to violence and abuse.

The retail giant added that the programme has been successful in "empowering previously un-serviced communities to address issues around child abuse'.

Isolabantwana was developed by the Cape Town Child Welfare Society in 1997 and piloted nationally four years ago by Child Welfare with financial assistance from the national Department of Social Development.

Ms Hangana said the assistance from Foschini came at a time when she had noticed an increase in child-headed households, due to children who had lost parents to AIDS.

Child Welfare South Africa expressed its gratitude for the donation.

Ashley Theron, national executive director for Child Welfare South Africa, said the organisation was also grateful for the commitment by Foschini "to such a worthy cause'.

Mr Theron added: "We have over 1 440 community members in the Western and Eastern Cape and Gauteng who have already been trained as "eyes? and who are assisting social workers in detecting child abuse and monitoring children at risk.

"We have put plans place to roll-out to the rest of the country as resources become available'.

Foschini said it had supported Child Welfare South Africa on a provincial basis over the past couple of years, but that this was the largest single donation it had made to the organisation.

Ms Hangana, who is the national convenor of the now-extended white ribbon campaign, said Child Welfare South Africa deserved "exclusive praise' and that the organisation was South Africa's "national pride'.

"You have put the plight of these children on the national agenda. With limited resources you continue to save these children from abusive homes and take them into your care. You remain our national pride,' Ms Hangana said.

Also present at the cheque handover were Dennis Polak, the Managing Director of the Foschini Group, Nigel Pierce from the Good Hope FM radio station, Professor Sulina Green the Vice-President of Child Welfare South Africa, Mr Theron Executive Director of Child Welfare South Africa and Deputy Minister Ms Hangana.

Human resources director at the Foschini Group, Shani Naidoo said the company was proud to align itself not only with Child Welfare South Africa but with the Isolabantwana programme.

BuaNews

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