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Workers who care for vulnerable part of a ‘resilient profession’

The Department of Social Development has acknowledged the work done by workers in protecting and looking after the most vulnerable children in the society. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

The Department of Social Development has acknowledged the work done by workers in protecting and looking after the most vulnerable children in the society. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Published May 10, 2022

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Pretoria - As the country ended off its commemoration of Child and Youth Care Week, the Department of Social Development has acknowledged the work done by workers in protecting and looking after the most vulnerable children in the society.

The theme of this year's Child and Youth Care Week (May 3 to 9, was “Valuing a Resilient Profession."

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The department also took the opportunity to salute and recognise the efforts of youth workers, as well as child and youth counsellors for providing care to the most vulnerable.

It praised them for also ensuring that children in child and youth care centres were always kept neat, and lived in clean, attractive buildings and facilities.

As of March 31, there were more than 200 child and youth care workers registered with the South African Council for Social Service Professions, with a further 8 358 registered as auxiliary staff.

The department said that despite its fair share of challenges the profession had continued to grow with a total of 4055 persons registered with the council as students in child and youth care work.

Jabu Makhoba, 25, who spent a quarter of his life in the NGOs and government-run facilities thanked social workers who he credited for caring for him and teaching him self-reliance after his mother died in 1999.

Makhoba said the loss of his mother at the age of eight resulted in him attempting suicide twice during his teenage years due to the hardships and hopelessness of his upbringing and not knowing his father.

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He said during his stay at various facilities he was regarded as one of the naughty children.

"I moved to several places of safety including the Don Mattera Child and Youth Care Centres from where I absconded and stayed on the streets for five months. I used to break windows with my bare hands and did horrible things in these institutions."

Despite his initial challenges with adjusting to life at the centres, Makhoba said he started to see a change in himself as he also became more spiritually inclined when he was in grade 7.

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He was then moved to Ikhaya Lo Thando in Tembisa in 2016, and not only managed to complete his matric but also received a scholarship from a church NGO called Acts of Love.

"As a young man from Nigel, I defied all odds of being an orphan and managed to obtain a BA Degree in Journalism from the University of Johannesburg. Two years later, I graduated with an Honours Degree in Communications, and I never looked back ever since."

"Growing up as an orphan does not mean the end of one’s dreams. My journey in life has not been easy, but things are starting to come together thanks to Social Workers and Care Workers in all the institutions for caring for me & for teaching me self-reliance."AS THE country ended its commemoration of Child and Youth Care Week, the Department of Social Development acknowledged the work done by workers in protecting and looking after the most vulnerable children in society.

Story continues below Advertisement

The theme of this year's Child and Youth Care Week (May 3 to 9) was “Valuing a Resilient Profession".

The department also took the opportunity to salute and recognise the efforts of youth workers, as well as child and youth counsellors for providing care to the most vulnerable.

As of March 31, there were more than 200 child and youth care workers registered with the SA Council for Social Service Professions, with a further 8 358 registered as auxiliary staff.

The department said that despite having its fair share of challenges the profession had continued to grow with a total of 4 055 persons registered with the council as students in child and youth care work.

Jabu Makhoba, 25, who spent a quarter of his life in NGO and government-run facilities, thanked social workers, who he credited for caring for him and teaching him self-reliance after his mother died in 1999.

Makhoba said the loss of his mother at the age of eight resulted in his attempting suicide twice during his teenage years due to the hardships and hopelessness of his upbringing and not knowing his father.

He said during his stay at various facilities he was regarded as one of the “naughty children”.

Makhoba said he started to see a change in himself as he also became more spiritually inclined when he was in Grade 7. He moved to Ikhaya Lo Thando in Tembisa in 2016, and not only managed to complete his matric but also received a scholarship from a church NGO called Acts of Love.

“As a young man from Nigel, I defied all odds of being an orphan and managed to obtain a BA degree in journalism from the University of Johannesburg,” he said.

“Two years later, I graduated with an Honours degree in communications … My journey in life has not been easy, but things are starting to come together thanks to social workers and care workers in all the institutions caring for me.”

Pretoria News

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