It is a relief that we are meticulous about washing our hands, avoiding handshakes, boosting our immune systems by eating well, minimising unnecessary stress and getting enough exercise and fresh air.
This suggests that South Africans have a plan if they get sick: they know where to go, who to contact and how to care for our livelihoods. We can do more; it is about behavioural change for us to do better.
Let us not forget the vast number of issues threatening the well-being of children today:
• Lack of proper nutrition and shelter
• Lack of access to proper healthcare
• Accidental drowning, burns, electrocution, poisoning and choking
• Motor vehicle accidents
• Lack of proper education, and
Bullying in our schools is a very unwelcome behavior because it makes so many learners feel uncomfortable and often hate or choose to bunk school, because of bullying.
Bullying is expressed in numerous ways: emotionally, physically, psychologically and at times plain peer pressure in terms of being made to feel ‘uncool’ or weird. When you are bullied at school, make the effort to inform the teachers or management, to find a lasting solution. While many people are aware of these issues they do not understand just how great an impact they have on our children and our society as a whole.
The number of South African children suffering from child abuse is much higher – in the millions. Children require a great deal of assistance and guidance in everyday life, much more so than adults do. Children need help with almost everything they do, from basic tasks such as having a bath and getting dressed, to learning how to treat other people. This means that children are much more vulnerable than adults and therefore require protection from the many dangers that threaten their well-being.
How can we help to protect children?
If you have children visiting or living in your home, that is the first place to start. You can help to ensure a safe environment for children in your home:
Ensure that all electrical wiring and appliances are safe and that all plug sockets are properly covered.
Fence off any bodies of water on your property such as swimming pools and fish ponds, and keep children away from these areas unless accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.
Keep baths and buckets of water empty or out of reach of children unless being used under strict adult supervision.
Never leave fires or hot liquids unattended, no matter for how short a period of time.
Keep all sharp objects out of reach.
Keep all substances such as chemical solvents, paints,
insecticides, alcohol, medicines, cosmetic products and even vitamins out of reach.
Install safety-glass on large glass doors or large, low windows and use stickers to ensure that the glass can be clearly seen.
Have a list of emergency numbers at hand next to each telephone or saved into each cell phone in the house.
You can also help to protect children in the wider community:
Alert the South African Police Force if you suspect any child pornography, child trafficking or that a child you know is being abused in any way. This can be done anonymously if you are concerned about your identity being made known to the suspected perpetrators of the crimes.
Alerting the authorities if you see any exposed electrical wiring or open manholes
Driving responsibly and being aware of other cars and people on the road.
Assisting those who are unable to provide their children with proper care or donating to recognised charities that take care of children, whenever possible and within reason.
To the Matric Class of 2021:
The country is aware of the inequalities in our education system, we have those learners that have been studying without any interruptions during this national lockdown.
Do not let your circumstances draw you back. Do your best!
• Invite God to walk with you in your life journey and schoolwork,
• Unite as classmates and help each other, you can never know everything,
• Remember your family background and use that as a motivation to get your priorities right,
• Pass your Preliminary examinations, all the marks count,
• Write your Examinations and Pass!
Do away with peer pressure; choose the learners you want to associate with,
Peer pressure will not get the work done!
We can make a fresh start and turn over a new leaf as a society. We can open a new calendar with pages that have nothing written on them yet. The year ahead is full of possibilities and potential! We can leave the old behind and dream of new adventures and new memories. Such excitement and freshness are available to all of us.
Mzukona Mantshontsho is the founder of Nyakaza Media Solutions. Nyakaza Media Solutions is an organisation that was established to help community organisations, business entities, and schools to research, write, document, report, analyse, edit, publish newsletters or bulletins in hard-copy, on-line and maintain websites with the relevant content as per the editorial policy of that organisation, school or entity.
Nyakaza Media Solutions has a vision to promote and bring dialogue to communities, businesses and schools about issues that affect them.
Nyakaza Media Solutions is on a mission to develop and encourage communities, businesses and learners to celebrate the good, applaud excellence, welcome growth, strive to be better individuals, businesses and communities, want more knowledge, discourage bad and counter-productive behaviour as well as communities, businesses and learners that want to be great SOUTH AFRICANS.
Nyakaza Media Solutions is making use of Yo School Magazine as a platform that learners in all schools to make use of to write their stories.