Non­to­beko Mbuyane

Fund De­vel­op­ment and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Man­ager

Sunday Observer - - FEATURES -

The past week I gifted you all with c hap­pies, which I im­plored each one of us to open the ten of them, in­ter­nalise them and take ac­tion.

As I sat re­view­ing the ar­ti­cle I noted with some kind of joy at the strides that we have made in­child care as a coun­try, de­spite all the chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tions fac­ing chil­dren it’s not all doom and gloom we have moved quite a few steps to­wards the right di­rec­tion and we all owe to it to our­selves to ad­vo­cate for causes of chil­dren.

In­deed, we have only our­selves to help im­prove the lives of chil­dren, in fact ev­i­dence shows that an un­even num­ber of chil­dren con­tinue to live in ex­treme poverty thus ad­dress­ing child poverty is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant be­cause the im­pact on chil­dren is so dev­as­tat­ing, af­fect­ing their phys­i­cal, cog­ni­tive and so­cial de­vel­op­ment. Poverty can un­der­mine chil­dren’s phys­i­cal and men­tal health and set them on a life­long path of low ed­u­ca­tion lev­els and re­duced pro­duc­tiv­ity. In gen­eral, child mor­tal­ity is notably higher in the low­est-in­come house­holds than in wealth­ier house­holds. Chil­dren in the poor­est house­holds of their so­ci­eties are more than twice as likely to en­dure se­vere prob­lems while grow­ing up as op­posed to chil­dren from the richer ones. Fur­ther­more, chil­dren liv­ing in poverty are more likely to be­come im­pov­er­ished adults and to have poor chil­dren, cre­at­ing and sus­tain­ing in­ter-gen­er­a­tional cy­cles of poverty. While the largest costs of child poverty are borne di­rectly by chil­dren, so­ci­ety also pays a high price through re­duced pro­duc­tiv­ity, un­tapped po­ten­tial and the costs of re­spond­ing to chronic poverty. Child poverty dam­ages chil­dren’s life chances and harms us all. And we all know how such can make th­ese chil­dren vul­ner­a­ble.

Vi­o­lence Against Chil­dren

Never a day goes by with­out read­ing or hear­ing about how chil­dren have been vi­o­lated. Vi­o­lence against chil­dren is still on the rise. Yet we have the re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect chil­dren from vi­o­lence, abuse, ex­ploita­tion and ne­glect as a na­tion. It is even sad­den­ing to note how chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties, par­tic­u­larly girls with dis­abil­i­ties, are most vul­ner­a­ble and face the great­est risk of in­jury, abuse and ne­glect.

HIV/AIDS

The HIV/ AIDS pan­demic has im­pacted heav­ily on chil­dren and has af­fected all their rights – civil, po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, so­cial and cul­tural. The im­pact re­versed hard- won gains in life ex­pectancy, left so many chil­dren or­phaned and the break­down of so many fam­ily units, leav­ing chil­dren to raise each other. My ques­tion is, is this world to­day a bet­ter world for our chil­dren. Does this world hold out a vi­sion of how child­hood should be, defin­ing it as a time sep­a­rate from adult­hood in which chil­dren are free to grow, learn and play, and in which they are both pro­tected and re­spected?

Over my pro­fes­sional life I have seen so many con­ven­tions on the Rights of the Child be­ing adopted and th­ese blunt- ly stress the fun­da­men­tal role of the fam­ily in the growth and well-be­ing of chil­dren, rec­og­niz­ing that a lov­ing and un­der­stand­ing fam­ily en­vi­ron­ment is vi­tal to a child’s de­vel­op­ment. Again another ques­tion comes up, what have you and I done to en­sure that chil­dren grow up within a lov­ing fam­ily. How have we helped or­gan­i­sa­tions that pro­vide fam­ily like care like SOS Chil­dren’s Vil­lages sup­port in rais­ing up chil­dren. Don’t you think that you might be the miss­ing link in en­sur­ing that this place be­comes a bet­ter place for chil­dren, how about we share just ONE LILAN- GENI with SOS Chil­dren’s Vil­lages and be the chance that vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren grow up in a bet­ter place. This you can do by sim­ple di­al­ing * 007* 03* 04* 032# or send through mo­bile money num­ber, 7640 0273 or through the bank with ac­count de­tails, First Na­tional Bank, Ac­count Num­ber: 62372140493 BRANCH CODE: 280164

For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact, Non­to­beko Mbuyane on non­to­beko.mbuyane@sos-swazi­land.org or call +26825058471/1/2/3 and visit our face­book page @SOSSwazi­land and our web­site: www.sos.org.sz

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