The Homestead Welcomes Minister of Social Development Ms. Lindiwe Zulu to our Bishop Lavis Risiha site during Child Protection Week.
On the 29th of May 2023, The Homestead was honoured to host the Minister for Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, at our Bishop Lavis Risiha site and Drop-in Centre. The visit was part of the Child Protection Week campaign initiated by the Department of Social Development which aims to spotlight the plight of children in South Africa.
In the last financial year, the National Child Protection Register reported that an alarming 21 447 cases of abuse had happened against children in South Africa. The National Child Protection Register further noted that the leading causes of abuse against children were sexual abuse, deliberate neglect as the second highest and physical abuse accounting for the third highest. It was also reported that 12 307 children were reached through Risiha as a prevention and early intervention programme during the previous financial year.
What is the Risiha Programme?
In October 2022, The Homestead Bishop Lavis Drop-in Centre started the implementation of our Risiha programme. Risiha is a community-based, prevention and early intervention programme developed to enhance efforts to protect, and target orphaned and vulnerable children, some of whom are living in child and youth-headed households, who have chronic health conditions, as well as those living, begging or working on the streets. Risiha seeks to strengthen families and communities as the first line of response in the child protection system, with a particular focus on children living in poorer communities. The Homestead Bishop Lavis Risiha programme enrolled 10 members of the community with the intention of facilitating hands-on training which will result in them graduating as qualified Child and Youth Care workers by the end of 2023.
We were honoured to receive Minister Zulu who spoke at length about empowering children to consider the importance of strategic financial planning to ensure a stable future. The Minister also commended the Homestead on its good governance and encouraged the Homestead to continue being an example to other NGOs. Event speakers also included the Homestead Executive Director, Maria Sikaundi who shared the many services offered by The Homestead to children in Cape Town, Prevention and Early Intervention Manager Nozuko Nothwanya who explained the benefits of the Risiha programme, and Board Chairperson Phouzaan Siebritz who emphasized the importance of every child having an inherent need to belong.
We were enlighted by the event programme director, the Acting Deputy Director General – Welfare Service Ms Isabella Sekawana, and the other speakers: Acting Chief Director of Children’s Services, Ms Neliswa Cekiso, who highlighted the necessity of good parenting, Regional Director Metro North, Ms Soraya Abrahams, and the vote of thanks given by Acting Director Children & Families, Mr Thembekile Kwakwini.
The morning concluded with the Minister walk-about of the facility led by the Child & Youth Care Workers Mentor Bandlakazi Mazongolo and the Homestead Risiha Child and Youth Care Workers.
The Homestead extends its heartfelt gratitude all our esteemed guests of the day including Setina Hloyolosa (DSD), Jessica Payne (DSD Provincial), Lesego Ranchu (NDA), Maddy Petersen (P.C Social Development), Muriall Malfico (UNICEF), Oscar Mpetha (DSD), Sargent Sass (SAPS), J Lonqu (DSD), Beverley Fortuin (BLAC), Z.A Ndevy (SASSA), Velvedo van Wyk (Risiha), Sammy Williams (Homestead Board of Governance), Clive Jansen (SASSA), Tshepiso Mazo (NDSD), Lungile Mwqqibelo (NDSD), Babalwe Mapens (DSD, Langa), Nompindo Lentswane (NDSD), Morapedi Sibeko (NDSD), Lene Esterhuizen (NDSD), Freddie Hluyeheu (DSD Metro), Lesego Ntsweng (DSD), Cheven Viljoen (DSD, Langa), Pastor Cedric Jansen (AFM Church), Sheih Monie (UNICEF), Nadale Ndlouvu (DSD), Kuare CA (SASSA), Cynthia Nyoni (NDSD), Conta Z (SASSA), Lucky These (NDSD), Kholiwe Dlamini (DSD), Freedom Kweln (DSD), Christiwe Mohabe (SASSA), and a special thanks to the Honorable Minister Zulu and National and Provincial DSD for their recognition of the importance of our work with children and families.