Red Cross Children’s Hospital & 16 Days of Activism

 

For many children in South Africa, childhood is a box – empty. They grow up in an environment of pervasive violence. This violence alters the very fabric of their childhoods.

The Child Protection Office at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital sees an average of 40 to 50 cases child abuse every month. That’s close to (or in many cases over) 600 cases a year. 600 stories of empty childhoods. This year we are standing up and saying no more. We will not limit the scope of our involvement to reactionary healing, we will actively drive awareness to prevent child abuse. But we cannot do it alone, we need your help.

In cases of extreme abuse and neglect, children are removed from their homes and relocated to places of safety. Very often, these children leave with just the clothes on their back. Our Child Protection office creates packs for children in situations like these. The packs are age-dependent and include things like hygiene products, toys, and snacks. The festive season usually brings with it a critical shortage in the number of packs we are able to supply.

Please see the list below for more information about what goes into these packs, all donations of products can be dropped off at The Children’s Hospital Trust, Cnr of Klipfontein and Milner Road, The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Cape Town.

During the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, we are asking the public to stand with us. What would you give to end a child’s suffering?

WHAT GOES INTO OUR CHILD PROTECTION PACKS?

Age: 0-1
Contents: Face Cloth
Face soap
2 x nappies
Feeding bottle and nipple
Small toy

Age: 2-3
Contents: Face Cloth
Face soap
2 x nappies
Small juice
Biscuit
Noodles
Small pack tissues
Small toy

Age: 4-8
Contents: Face Cloth
Face soap
Small juice
Biscuit
Noodles
Small pack tissues
Small toy

Age: 9-12
Contents: Face Cloth
Face soap
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Rool on deodorant
Small juice
Biscuit
Noodles
Small pack tissues
Small toy


3-year-old Jade* was staying at her mother’s boyfriend’s house. Sometime during the night, little Jade wet her bed. In most households, this would be met with a gentle reminder from a parent. The child would be reminded that it’s ok, it happens, it is not a big deal. The sheets would be changed and life would go on. But Jade did not come from “most” households. Jade came from a household were violence inescapable and for Jade, what happened next could only be described as an avalanche of abuse.

Jade’s mother’s boyfriend –  the perpetrator – proceeded to punish her while her mother watched helplessly on the side. It was reported that he allegedly covered her mouth with Sellotape, slapped her, pulled her by her hair and used her t-shirt to hang her little body on hook behind the door. Jade’s mother stated that she was unable to protect little Jade as her boyfriend had repeatedly kicked her in the stomach.

After the violence stopped, the perpetrator bathed Jade and reconciled with her mother.

The following day, Jade’s mother left her in the care of the perpetrator and when she returned home, Jade was once again in the bath with fresh bruises covering her tiny body. Jade was not walking properly and her mother noticed that there was sand in her ears. The perpetrator said that Jade had fell in the backyard. Jade’s mother called the police and Jade was brought into the Hospital. Doctors at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital found evidence of physical and sexual abuse.

Jade been removed from the care of both her biological parents and the perpetrator and put in a place of safety.

* YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW HER NAME TO KNOW THAT SHE DESERVED A CHILDHOOD

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