How we protect children

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In the dawn of child protection week the issues raised and promoted during the campaign forever live with us. Child Protection Week is a yearly campaign that raises awareness for the rights of children. According to the Social development department “it aims to mobilise all sectors of society to care for and protect children. Child Protection Week allows us to shine a spotlight on children’s issues; highlight successes and identify what still needs to be done.” The campaign is initiated by the Minister of Social Development; however it is incumbent on all of South Africans to play a role in protecting children and creating a safe and secure environment for them. The question raised here is how well do South Africans do in assisting organisations such as Childline and many others that aim to protect and ensure the well-being of South African Children.

A large number of South African children experience abuse and neglect in their homes, be it from their parents or guardians even the community around them. Where do children turn to in such instances? There are a few organisations that have become aware of the problem and have decided to intervene in fighting the ill-treatment of children and ensuring their well-being. Childline Gauteng is one of these organisations, it is an effective non-profit organisation that helps with protecting children from all forms of violence, and it supports and promotes children’s rights in South Africa as stated in the constitution. As an NPO, Childline Gauteng depends on donated funds or sponsorship to effectively operate; it depends on the government, corporate and individual donations. In the few previous years, Childline has failed to reach its target of R13 million and corporate funding has declined as a result of the country’s economic state. Childline Gauteng currently receives R5.4 million per year in government funding, R2.2 million in corporate funding and R80,000 in individual donations.

Some research on the donations of child protecting organisations internationally as well as in South Africa show that in 2014 the World Giving Index noted that, regardless of a higher global participation rate, women were only more likely to donate money than men in developed economies, with men recording higher participation in both transitioning and developing economies (World Giving Index, 2015:23).

In 2015 men in developed economies have decreased the differential in participation rates to four percentage points (compared to the seven recorded previously), which is the smallest gap recorded in the last five years of the World Giving Index. This smaller differential, combined with the continued higher participation in both transitioning and developing economies, means that men have overtaken women in regarding how they donate money globally (World Giving Index, 2015:23

Since the World Giving Index was first published in 2010, older people have been and still are more likely to donate money to charity. At 33.8% the 2015 global participation rate between those aged 50 and older is the highest recorded. Young people between the ages of 15-29 have increased their giving in 2015 in all three ways of giving. The global increase in donating money in 2015 is experienced across all of the age groups. There has been an increase of 5.4 percent amongst the youngest age group. This increase more than recovers the decrease between 2012 and 2013.

A South African research done on donation for the National Development Agency and The South African Grantmakers Association: 54% of the respondents gave money to charities or other causes, 31% gave food or goods to charities or other causes, while about 17% volunteered time for a charity or cause, in the month before they were interviewed. In addition 45% of respondents said they gave money and/or goods respectively not to formal charities but directly to the poor – street children, people begging on the street and so on. When calculating these figures we realize that 93% of the respondents of this research donate (Everatt and Solanki, 2003:5). The research shows that the poor and the non-poor respondents were equally likely to have given in the month before being interviewed. This ultimately shows that giving is not a matter of being rich but is an activity that occurs on a daily bases which is based on etiquette.The research shows that the respondents had priority to three causes which include children or youth at 22%, HIV/AIDS at 21% and the poor’ at 20%. People with disabilities followed at 8% and the elderly at 5% (Everatt and Solanki, 2003:5)

According to some the research, South Africans are motivated and more likely to donate to a local cause or charity organization than to an international one. 8% of the respondents said they had never given or donated anything to an international cause one of the most important findings of the research is that donations are highly motivated by feeling of human solidarity. Only about 10% of the respondents said donating is a rational decision to try and tackle poverty. 9% of the respondents gave because of religious reasons (Everatt and Solanki, 2003:5)

A small research done by students from the University of Johannesburg shows that a “large number of people across different socio-economic situation are able to donate and that they are donating in the various ways” they have found that South Africans donate total of about R 298400 a month to different charities in South Africa.

Despite the economic challenges South Africa faces, people in this country still have the capacity to share with other less privileged people especially children. Even though organisations such as Childline still face monetary challenges which hamper their effectiveness, South Africans realise the need of such organisation and are actually taking steps to try and help.

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I am a lover of current affairs and everything media, Strategic Corporate Communication student. I write to spark conversations, influence perspectives and inform.

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