Mfuleni-based Khuseleka Gender Based Violence and Support Services is working with schools to address violence, bullying, drug use, and social ills, which directly impact educational outcomes..
At the launch of the non-profit organisation’s programme on Thursday January 27, at the Mfuleni community hall, founder Xolani Mcoyana said they aimed to engage school children and to reduce, among others, teen pregnancy, substance abuse and bullying. He said they would also consult with parents when the need arises.
“School intervention will go to all the Mfuleni schools to speak to children. Of course we will (also) work with teachers,” said Mr Mcoyana.
“The organisation will do different awareness campaigns. We have other stakeholders that we will work with for referrals. It does not mean we will be at schools with all the answers but we will try our level best to assist and help where we can.”
He added that the focus would be on the restoration of respect and developing good citizens. On the day, 100 pupils also each received a pair of shoes. “When we visited some of the schools, we identified that many had no shoes. We asked for donations so we can put smiles on their faces,” he said
Also at the launch was Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo who encouraged parents to always take responsibility and stop blaming teachers for the welfare of their children.
She told children how lucky they were to have such support given to them. “Parents need to take responsibility for their children and their whereabouts after school. We cannot be blaming teachers for what is ours. The community needs to take responsibility. NPOs like this are here to help. But the onus remains with us at the end of the day,” said Dr Mbombo.
She said where there was no support or a high unemployment rate, crime tended to be high.
She stressed that government alone could not be expected to fight social ills, rather, the whole community should be involved.
Among those involved in the initiative is Mfuleni Library.
Senior librarian Nolubabalo Memani encouraged children to read and empower themselves, adding that they had programmes that could help them with their education.
Thanking the NPO, Ferndale Primary School deputy principal Nomhle Liwani said all the schools were grateful to have been invited and to get shoes for their children.