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CINDI, together with 35 prominent organisations, most of whom work directly in the field of child care and children’s rights, sent an urgent letter to President Cyril Rampahosa, calling for an immediate R500-a-month increase to the child support grant for six months.

The letter states that prior to the lock-down, over 10 million children received nutritious meals through the school nutrition programme and early childhood development programmes. Families are now forced to provide the nutritious meals as schools and development programmes have been closed down due to the lock-down.

Because of food price increases, families are forced to buy less nutritious food due to constrained budgets.

The letter also raises concerns with Sassa’s inability to add new beneficiaries to the social grant programme during lock-down because the required verification and biometric requirements cannot be completed.

The letter  has suggested the following measures as a means to deal with social grant challenges during the lockdowComplementary measures

  • Registration for SROD of vulnerable households not already receiving grants, including unemployed youth and adults in households without social grants, and new mothers with babies who cannot be registered due to all new birth registrations being on hold during the lock-down. Increasing the cash available for existing grant beneficiaries will place less demand on SROD.
  • More cash without addressing congestion at big retailers, in taxis, and social grant payment queues is not effective. The recommendation is for SASSA to restructure its payment system to ensure that grants are transferred into beneficiaries’ accounts in a staggered manner.
  • Subsidizing selected highly nutritious foods.
  • Now that lock-down regulations have been amended to allow informal traders of food to continue to trade, extra cash in the hands of CSG beneficiaries will not only increase the ability of poor households to buy nutritious fresh produce but will also help to reduce the congestion in taxis and at big retailers; and stimulate the local economies of townships and rural areas.

Download Full Letter

 

April 30, 2020

Child protection organisations say poverty and the inability of parents or guardians to feed their children has been a major concern during the lockdown to curb Covid-19. 

Suzanne Clulow, Child Advocacy programme manager for Children In Distress (CINDI), said food security was an overwhelming concern.

She said the organisation had received several queries regarding where people could access assistance.

Clulow said well organised co-ordination of food support to vulnerable families was key, with clearly communicated systems and procedures for service delivery.

“At the moment there is a lack of clarity around this in KZN and NGOs wishing to provide food support have faced challenges with regards to procedures and approval of essential services permits,” Clulow said.

Click here to read the full article. 

 

CHILD PROTECTION IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY

 

 21 May 2020 

Every child in South Africa has the right to be kept safe from abuse, neglect, exploitation and any other kind of harm that puts them at risk.

Families, individuals and local communities can play a huge part in protecting children – it’s EVERYONE’S responsibility.

This Child Protection Week, we are excited to join with the Department of Social Development in launching our new child-friendly booklet. Developed in collaboration with Dlalanathi: play with usFamily for Every ChildJelly Beanz and Singakwenza, the booklet aims to support positive interactions between adults and children during COVID-19 and beyond. It contains information about child protection and safety, strategies for coping with stress and worry, fun activities for children and contact details for key resources where help can be accessed. During the course of this week, we will be sharing resources and tips from the booklet. Download a full copy here 

 Join us this week and going forward in supporting families and communities to keep children safe.

Get help
GBV Command Centre: 0800 428 428 to speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling or *120*7867# for a call back
Childline South Africa: 0800 055 555
Child Welfare South Africa: 0861 424 453 / 011 452-4110

#ChildProtectionWeek2020
#COVID19SA
#NoToChildSexualViolence
#EndViolence
#ChildProtection2020
#COVID19VAC
#keepchildrensafe

Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus

Kids worry more when they're kept in the dark

News of the coronavirus COVID-19 is everywhere, from the front page of all the papers to the playground at school. Many parents are wondering how to bring up the epidemic in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be.

  • Don’t be afraid to discuss the coronavirus. Most children will have already heard about the virus or seen people wearing face masks, so parents shouldn’t avoid talking about it. Not talking about something can actually make kids worry more. Look at the conversation as an opportunity to convey the facts and set the emotional tone. Your goal is to help your children feel informed and get fact-based information to reassure them.
  • Be developmentally appropriate. Don’t volunteer too much information, as this may be overwhelming. Instead, try to answer your child’s questions. Do your best to answer honestly and clearly. It’s okay if you can’t answer everything; being available to your child is what matters.
  • Take your cues from your child. Invite your child to tell you anything they may have heard about the coronavirus, and how they feel. Give them ample opportunity to ask questions. You want to be prepared to answer (but not prompt) questions. Your goal is to avoid encouraging frightening fantasies.
  • Deal with your own anxiety. If you notice that you are feeling anxious, take some time to calm down before trying to have a conversation or answer your child’s questions.
  • Be reassuring. Children are very egocentric, so hearing about the coronavirus on the news may be enough to make them seriously worry that they’ll catch it. It’s helpful to reassure your child about how rare the coronavirus actually is (the flu is much more common) and that kids actually seem to be less susceptible to it.
  • Focus on what you’re doing to stay safe and what is in your control. An important way to reassure kids is to emphasize the safety precautions that you are taking. We know that the coronavirus is transmitted mostly by coughing and touching surfaces. WHO recommends thoroughly washing your hands as the primary means of staying healthy. So remind kids that they are taking care of themselves by washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or the length of two “Happy Birthday” songs) when they come in from outside, before they eat, and after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or using the bathroom. If kids ask about face masks, explain that the experts at WHO say they aren’t necessary for most people. If kids see people wearing face masks, explain that those people are being extra cautious.
  • Stick to routine. This is particularly important if your child’s school or daycare shuts down. Make sure you are taking care of the basics just like you would during a school break. Structured days with regular mealtimes and bedtimes are an essential part of keeping kids happy and healthy.
  • Keep talking. Tell kids that you will continue to keep them updated as you learn more.
  • End on a positive point. Once the conversation is over, move on to something that isn't threatening, such as what they had for lunch or something fun they did during the day.

(adapted from https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/)