SU believes that Child Protection is as urgent and important as it’s ever been – and is paying renewed efforts to this key aspect. While it is a great privilege and joy to be involved in ministry with children and teenagers, it is also a massive responsibility and SU feels this weighty challenge on an ongoing basis.
Sponsored by one of SU’s key donors (Kindernothilfe, KNH), a Child Protection strategy session was held in Durban in September. This challenged SU and fellow ministry organisations to up the game in terms of Child Protection. Workable and current Child Protection Policies are critical and SU is aware of the need to equip our teams continually in how to respond when a child reports a case of abuse, either from the past or on an activity. This has professionalised our responses to incidents that unfortunately do occur.
But perhaps more importantly even, is the need for innovative, energetic and creative proactive Child Protection Initiatives – especially by organisations like SU that aim to “be there for young people”. Currently SU’s Youth Centres fulfil such proactive purposes, as do our Lifeskills programmes. An innovative example is the Debating Competition we run in Mdantsane, Eastern Cape, covering key topics like Bullying and Abuse. Learners are challenged to extend themselves and are empowered to present reasoned responses and consider courageous disclosures.
Spearheading SU’s Child Protection programme is Sam Otigo (Regional Director SU Algoa) and Sam’s input at the KNH event was substantial. Sam has demonstrated through being one of SU’s leading camping Regions that Child Protection, both in its reactive and proactive forms, is an area in which SU is determined to demonstrate excellence.
Will you join us in this noble quest?