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From Vulnerable to Resilient: South Africa's Commitment to Children's Rights

Willem Oosthuizen
Wednesday, November 1st, 2023
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Well-being of our Children

The South African Constitution affirms the rights of every child to achieve their full potential and places a corresponding duty on the Government to implement measures that ensure the well-being and development of children. These measures encompass ensuring children's survival, protecting them from abuse, neglect, and exploitation, providing access to parental and family care, safeguarding their rights within the child justice system, preventing discrimination, and facilitating access to their socio-economic rights, including education, play, recreation, healthcare, and essential services. Meeting this mandate remains a significant challenge in South Africa today.

The Risiha Prevention and Early Intervention Programme

In response to the needs of vulnerable children, the Department of Social Development (DSD), in collaboration with USAID under the Government Capacity Building and Support Programme, is currently executing a prevention and early intervention program in partnership with Pact South Africa, UNICEF, academia, and civil society. This initiative, known as Risiha, is designed to deliver effective and scalable interventions at the community level.

Minister of Social Development, Ms. Lindiwe Zulu, introduced the Risiha program in October 2021.

Risiha" is a Xitsonga term that translates to "resilience."

The Risiha program is built upon the premise that by providing vulnerable children with prevention and early intervention services that effectively address risks across seven core service domains, we can activate the protective resources within and around these children. This, in turn, fosters the development of resilient young adults who are self-reliant, compassionate, ambitious, and healthy.

The Risiha Programme runs across the country to assist vulnerable children and orphans, some of whom run child-headed households or live on the street.

Drop-in- Centers

The Risiha program is implemented through Drop-in-Centers, which are community-based facilities dedicated to offering essential services that cater to the emotional, physical, and social development requirements of vulnerable children.

The Risiha service package consists of seven essential service domains, including child protection, psychosocial care and support, HIV and AIDS, food and nutritional assistance, access to education, access to general health services, and access to economic empowerment.

Through the Risiha program we hope to grow children from a point of vulnerability to resilience.

The Co-op Community Trust

The Co-op Community Trust invests in building resilience through projects like Joshua Project, a Drop-in-Center in Jeffreys Bay. We also invest in Early Childhood Development through our network of organizations like Sakhingomso NPO who operates preschools in rural areas.

Apply now to become part of the Co-op Community Trust and enjoy fantastic benefits for your project!
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