A child has rights in theory. The reality is different for many

“No child should suffer abuse, neglect or rejection.

The fact is that a high percentage of South Africa’s children do.

We cannot help all of them, but we must help those that we can.”

South Africa commemorates Child Protection Week from 29 May – 4 June this year.  The stories below should tell you why this is still needed to raise awareness about the plight of children in South Africa. Every year, the cry for help from our country’s children is more urgent. The stories get scarier and more horrifying as time goes on.
Society and families fail children. The lucky ones have come through the gates of Abraham Kriel Bambanani since 1902.
These are the stories of some children that YOU are saving from abuse now:

Lunathi (6 months): Residential Care Programme

Baby Lunathi’s (main image) hands and feet had become food for rats as he was left unloved and neglected by his parents. He spent months healing in hospital before he was released into the care of the Maria Kloppers Campus earlier this month. He is looking healthier and his tiny feet and hands are healing. He needs extensive occupational therapy and medical care by doctors.
“Lunathi is receiving much needed love and care from our staff. I can only hope we got to him soon enough to prevent permanent emotional scars”, says Lourika van Niekerk – Section Head: Baby ward at Maria Kloppers.

Jade (14): Residential Care Programme

“Jade is very quiet, trusts nobody, has low self-esteem and is not coping at school” – Christina Sebiloane, Social Worker.
Jade was sexually abused by a person she trusted and this trauma has affected her deeply.
“It is almost impossible to describe the emotional and psychological damage that sexual abuse causes to a child,” explained Christina. Some consequences include that Jade is now dependent on medication to help with stress. She also could not cope at a main stream school and was placed in a special school.
Studies have shown that the developing brain of a child undergoes physical changes as a result of trauma and abuse, which can impact on a child’s education very badly.
“Jade receives therapy every week and we monitor her school work and social integration with her peers. Over time her self-esteem will hopefully improve and one day she may be able to function independently”, continued Christina.

Themba: Community Services Programme

Themba is a 15 year old living with his father in Soweto. Previously his dad abused him to satisfy his drug habit. Themba’s belongings were sold for drug money and should Themba not have anything of value to sell, he would be beaten up.
Themba and his little sister were removed from their father’s care and placed in temporary foster care. When this placement failed, the children were placed in their aunt’s care, which also did not work out.
Themba was angry, had a bad attitude and was failing dismally at school.
In 2021, after a preventative services programme was put in place for the family, Themba was returned to his father. No recent episodes of abuse have been reported.
The family remains part of the Soweto Family Care programme, is constantly being monitored and receives much needed counseling services.

Gertrude: Community Services Programme

Gertrude was sexually abused and this has caused her to behave in a manner no 14-year-old should behave. She started dating an older man and this caused further emotional damage so that she started acting out.
Her sexual abuse case was reported to the South African Police Services (SAPS) and their social workers referred her to the Teddy Bear Clinic. She still receives support services from the clinic and has started counseling session with Innocentia Baloyi – a Social Worker from the AKB Soweto Family Care Programme.

Important note
AKB is not authorised to remove children from their homes. The Department of Social Development can remove kids, such as Themba and Gertrude, from the care of their guardians into alternative care.

Keegan: Residential Care Programme

At 10 years of age, Keegan had been exposed to harrowing violence, to the extent that he needs medication for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Before he was placed in our care, Keegan lived with his step-parents (his step-father remarried after the arrest of his biological mother) and siblings in an environment characterised by domestic violence and substance abuse.
He witnessed his father trying to rape his younger sister and at an even younger age, he witnessed his mother murder his sister. Both parents have been arrested and Keegan and his siblings were placed in our care and are all receiving therapy.
Keegan needs a lot of help. He is not performing well at school and is always fighting with other boys, but he is trying to cope. He is receiving therapy from a private psychologist and has monthly check-ups with Child, Adult and Family Unit doctors at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

These children’s stories are just a sample of the thousands of kids out there, whose rights to safety and love are non-existent. Many are often scared into keeping quiet or are lost in “the system” and some are at risk to become perpetrators themselves.
With the right kind of love, patience and guidance their stories can and will have a different ending. Your contributions towards the upbringing of these children is pivotal in making sure that the cycle of abuse does not continue. THANK YOU for being there!
*All names have been changed to protect the identity of the children

‘n Kind het regte, nie waar nie? Die realiteit is baie anders vir vele kinders

“Geen kind behoort blootgestel te wees aan misbruik, mishandeling, verwaarlosing of verwerping nie.

Die waarheid is dat ‘n buitensporig hoë persentasie van Suid-Afrika se kinders dit wel ervaar.

Ons kan nie almal help nie, maar ons moet die help wat ons kan.”

Suid-Afrika vier kinderbeskermingsweek van 29 Mei tot 4 Junie vanjaar. Hieronder word stories vertel wat illustreer hoekom dit so krities noodsaaklik is om mense bewus te maak van die lot van vele van ons land se kinders. Die stories word meer skrikwekkend en vreesaanjaend oor tyd.
Die gemeenskap en families faal kinders. Die gelukkiges het deur die hekke van Abraham Kriel Bambanani gestap sedert 1902
Hier is die stories van enkele kinders wat JY nou red van mishandeling en misbruik:

Lunathi 6 maande: Residensiële Sorg Program
Baba Lunathi se handjies en voetjies het kos geword vir rotte, terwyl hy verwaarloos en ongeliefd gelaat is deur sy ouers.
Hy was vir maande in die hospitaal voor hy vroeër vandeesmaand in die sorg van Maria Kloppers Kampus oorgeplaas is. Hy lyk effe gesonder en sy handjies en voetjies is besig om te herstel. Hy gaan nog baie arbeidsterapie en mediese sorg nodig hê.
“Lunathi kry uiters noodsaaklike liefde en sorg van ons personeel. Ek kan maar net hoop dat ons hom vroeg genoeg gekry het om permanente emosionele letsels te voorkom,” sê Lourika van Niekerk, afdelingsoof van die baba eenheid by Maria Kloppers.

Jade (14): Residensiële Sorg Program
“Jade is baie stil, wantrouig en het ‘n lae selfbeeld. Sy kom ook nie reg by die skool nie,” vertel Christina Sebiloane, maatskaplike werker.
Jade is seksueel gemolesteer deur ‘n persoon wat sy vertrou het en die trauma het haar ernstig geknou. “Dis feitlik onmoontlik om die emosionele en sielkundge skade op ‘n jong kind, wat seksuaal gemolesteer is, te beskryf,” verduidelik Christina. Van die gevolge is dat Jade nou afhanklik is van medikasie om te help met die stres. Sy kon ook nie funksioneer op skool nie en moes oorgeplaas word na ‘n spesiale skool. Studies het bevind dat die brein strukturele veranderinge ondergaan n.a.v. sulke trauma wat ‘n nadelige impak het op ‘n kind se akademiese ontwikkeling.
“Jade ontvang weekliks terapie en ons monitor haar skoolwerk en sosiale integrasie met haar tydgenote. Hopelik sal haar selfbeeld mettertyd verbeter en mag sy eendag onafhanklik kan funksioneer”, vertel Christina verder.

Themba: Gemeenskapsorg Program
Themba is ‘n 15-jarige wat by sy pa in Soweto bly. In die verlede het sy pa hom mishandel om sy middelafhanklikheid te bevredig. Themba se besittings is verkoop om dwelmmiddels te koop en sou daar nie iets wees om te verkoop nie, moes Themba dit fisies ontgeld.
Themba en sy boetie en sussie is verwyder uit hulle pa se sorg en in tydelike pleegsorg geplaas. Die plasing het egter gefaal en hulle is na hulle tante. Dit het ook nie gewerk nie.
Themba was kwaad, het ‘n swak houding gehad en het baie sleg gevaar op skool.
In 2021 is die gesin by ‘n voorkomings-program ingesluit. Themba is toe terug na sy pa toe. Sedertdien is geen insidente van mishandeling gerapporteer nie. Die gesin bly steeds op die ‘Soweto Family Care’ program, word gereëld gemonitor en ontvang berading.

Gertrude: Gemeenskapsorg Program
Gertrude is seksueel gemolesteer en dit het voroorsaak dat sy opgetree het op ‘n manier wat heeltemal onvanpas is vir ‘n 14-jarige. Sy het ‘n verhouding met ‘n ouer man begin, wat verdere emosionele skade berokken het en toe het sy begin uitreageer.
Die seksuele misbruik saak is by die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens (SAPD) aangemeld en hulle maatskaplike werkers het haar verwys na die ‘Teddy Bear Clinic’, waar sy steeds dienste ontvang. Intussen kry sy berading van Innocentia Baloyi, ‘n maatskaplike werker van die ‘AKB Soweto Family Care Programme’.

Neem kennis

AKB is nie by magte om kinders uit hulle huise te verwyder nie. Die mag en verantwoordelikheid lê by die Departement van Maatskaplike Dienste.

Keegan: Residensiële Sorg Program
Op 10-jarige ouderdom is Keegan reeds blootgestel aan uiterste geweld, tot die mate dat hy medikasie kry vir post-traumatiese stres sindroom.
Voor sy plasing in by AKB het Keegan en sy sussies by stief-ouers gewoon, in ‘n huishouding gekenmerk deur geweld en middelmisbruik. Hy het gesien hoe sy pa probeer om sy jonger sussie te verkrag en op selfs ‘n jonger ouderdom moes hy toekyk terwyl sy ma ‘n ander sussie vermoor. Beide ouers is gearresteer en Keegan en sy sussies is in die sorg van AKB..
Keegan Het baie hulp nodig. Hy vaar nie goed op skool nie en is gedurig in gevegte met ander seuns betrokke. Maar hy probeer! Sy terapie word verskaf deur ‘n sielkundige in privaat praktyk en hy word maandeliks ondersoek deur ‘n span dokters by die gesinseenheid van die  Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Akademiese Hospitaal.

Hierdie kinders se verhale is net voorbeeld van wat gebeur met duisende kinders daar buite. Hulle reg op veiligheid en liefde is bloot ‘n gedagte. Dikwels word hulle so verskrik dat hulle nooit sal praat nie en ander raak verlore in ‘die sisteem’. Sommige kan self ontwikkel in die volgende geslag van geweldenaars.  

Met genoeg liefde, geduls en leiding kan hulle stories ‘n beter einde hê. Jou bydrae tot die opvoeding van die kinders is on ontbeerlik om seker te maak dat die patroon van geweld gebreek word. DANKIE dat jy die stryd saam aanpak!

*Alle name is verander om die identiteit van die kinders te beskerm.