Te­a­ching kids how to pro­tect them­sel­ves

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Nuus | News - Yo­lan­dé S­tan­der

With mo­re fre­quent news of child a­bu­se co­ming to the fo­re in re­cent ti­mes, P­let­ten­berg Bay-ba­sed an­ti-child a­bu­se or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on the G­reen He­arts ha­ve ma­de it their mis­si­on to en­s­u­re that c­hild­ren are e­quip­ped to pro­tect them­sel­ves a­gainst tho­se wan­ting to harm them.

Re­cent­ly the G­reen He­arts te­am, al­ong with lo­cal po­li­ce, vi­si­ted the Crags P­ri­ma­ry S­chool on the out­skirts of town w­he­re they pre­sen­ted their “I’m the boss of my bo­dy” pro­gram­me to young­sters in Gra­des 1 to 3. T­his forms part of the Pro­tecti­ve Be­ha­vi­ours i­ni­ti­a­ti­ve which e­quips c­hild­ren with the tools and re­sour­ces to pre­vent t­he­se cri­mes being com­mit­ted a­gainst them.

“The aim is to ta­ke t­his pro­gram­me to as ma­ny schools in the a­rea as pos­si­ble,” says G­reen He­arts mem­ber Ma­griet Fer­rei­ra. T­his she be­lie­ves is a pro­acti­ve way to try to end child a­bu­se.

The aim of the pro­gram­me, she says, is al­so to te­ach c­hild­ren to know w­hen they are sca­red, why they are af­raid and how to s­peak up a­bout it. “We al­so te­ach them w­he­re to go w­hen they feel u­ne­a­sy and who to re­ach out to.”

He­len Be­zui­den­hout, al­so from the G­reen He­arts, says they do the pro­gram­me in part­ners­hip with the po­li­ce. “Of­ten in so­me of our com­mu­ni­ties, c­hild­ren see po­li­ce of­fi­cers as the bad guys. We te­ach them that t­his is not the ca­se and that the po­li­ce can help them w­hen they are in trou­ble,” she ex­plains.

The or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on’s Y­vet­te Wil­schut says the pro­gram­me is ai­med at young c­hild­ren. “We te­ach them that they are the boss of their bo­dies and how to re­cog­ni­se w­hen they are fee­ling unsa­fe. You get dif­fe­rent kinds of ‘sca­red’, one being sca­red in a mo­vie. T­his is the fun ty­pe of sca­red, but then you al­so get a fee­ling w­hen you know so­mething is wrong.”

Wil­schut says they te­ach the c­hild­ren w­he­re to go for help w­hen they re­cog­ni­se that so­mething is a­miss.

“We al­so ma­ke su­re they know that they should not be qui­et a­bout t­his w­het­her it ap­plies to bul­lying or any ot­her is­su­es they may en­coun­ter.”

Re­cent­ly the G­reen He­arts te­am, al­ong with lo­cal po­li­ce, vi­si­ted the Crags P­ri­ma­ry S­chool on the out­skirts of town w­he­re they pre­sen­ted their “I’m the boss of my bo­dy” pro­gram­me to young­sters in Gra­des 1 to 3.

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