Have you thought about child protection during Covid-19?
Children in South Africa are facing an increased risk of abuse and violence, as a result of the broad ranging impact of COVID-19. The COVID-19 lockdown measures in South Africa helped to slow the spread of the virus but have also, in some cases, further isolated vulnerable children at home and disrupted prevention and response services.
The children that receive support from Joburg Child Welfare are no exception to this.
Jo’burg Child Welfare (JCW) is a non-profit organization founded in 1909. We provide a range of direct and statutory services to abused, abandoned, neglected, orphaned and vulnerable children (including those who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS) in the Greater Jo’burg area of South Africa. Our core mission is that of being a protector of, and advocate for, the safety, security, and beneficial development of disadvantaged and vulnerable children.
Johannesburg Child Welfare assisted over 300,000 children, youth and families during our 2019/2020 financial year.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic our services are faced with many challenging situations:
Our Child & Family Centre Unit has seen a substantial increase in the number of walk-in clients at the intake section during February 2021. This increased from 760 to 1,116 clients monthly. Due to COVID-19 mortalities, and loss of employment, many households have lost their bread winners, and as a result the number of children and families in need, has grown exponentially.
Most of the families that require our services are primarily seeking assistance for food and social relief, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as well as abuse and violence related issues. There has been an increase in child abuse, gender based violence and abandonment during lockdown where family isolation took place and due to this, increased the need for our services.
Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, our centres are no longer benefiting from foreign currency and in-kind donations that we received from international visitors who volunteered at the centres. Sadly our entire volunteer programme had to be suspended.
Intercountry adoptions could no longer be facilitated as adoptive parents could not travel to South Africa. As a result, we keep the children for longer periods in residential care and this continues to have a negative effect on the children who require family care and this has increased our expenses.
All fundraising events which include sporting competitions, cultural activities and the annual beauty pageants have been cancelled. These funding streams previously contributed to the overall budget which is now under severe strain.
Due to the disruption of schooling, we have developed virtual educational programmes for children, to prevent them falling behind with classroom activities, all of which requires additional funding.
Through all of this JCW still continues to deliver these essential services to the vulnerable children and families. This has come at a huge cost, and the expectation has been that staff members have made many sacrifices and compromises, to ensure that the beneficiaries are cared for.
Our limited resources are not able to maintain the increasing needs of vulnerable families. As a result we are faced with the unfortunate possibility of reducing services, which will regrettably lead to the retrenching of JCW staff. The reality is that many vulnerable families will no longer have access to our services that are so crucial to the communities of Johannesburg.
With your continued support, it will be possible for JCW to continue this essential and important work in and around our vulnerable communities
“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.” Kalu Ndukwe Kalu
So…have you really thought about child protection during Covid-19?
We have a beautiful story of *Letlotlo* for you to read. Follow the link here to read about her journey.
We thank you for your kindness and generosity during this time of need.
**A SARS 18A Tax Certificate will be issued to you in recognition of your monetary donation. All donations will be used exclusively for the benefit of vulnerable children, such as those affected by GBV, as well as within our children’s homes and HIV/AIDS care & prevention programmes. Your valued donation is tax deductible within the terms and conditions prescribed by Section 18A of the Income Tax Act No. 58 of 1962, as amended.**