South Africa - Cape Town - 01 April - 2020 - Since the Covid-19 national lockdown announcement by the president of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa on the 23 march 2020,children from different poor communities/townships have resorted to different sporting entertainment and childhood games.Being indoors has been a challenge for them because they have nothing else besides tv, and that also means they must be confined into a small space as they are living in shacks and small houses.In Lavender Hill young Ethan Solomons sits on the window during the lockdown and watch his friends playing golf on a field opposite the flats.photographer Phando Jikelo/african News Agency(ANA)
South Africa - Cape Town - 01 April - 2020 - Since the Covid-19 national lockdown announcement by the president of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa on the 23 march 2020,children from different poor communities/townships have resorted to different sporting entertainment and childhood games.Being indoors has been a challenge for them because they have nothing else besides tv, and that also means they must be confined into a small space as they are living in shacks and small houses.In Lavender Hill young Ethan Solomons sits on the window during the lockdown and watch his friends playing golf on a field opposite the flats.photographer Phando Jikelo/african News Agency(ANA)

Children bear the brunt of the lockdown

By Editorial Time of article published May 16, 2020

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President Cyril Ramaphosa’s extension of the continued quarantine of this country until the end of the month, which he announced on Wednesday night, is already being met by legal challenges over the impact this is having on our beleaguered economy.

There is one aspect, though, that everyone is missing; the collateral damage wrought by the lockdown.

Ramaphosa, to his credit, spoke out harshly this week against the perpetrators of domestic violence.

We almost always see domestic violence as meted out by men against women: assaults that are verbal, physical and sexual.

What no one has seen though is the violence visited upon children by parents who are unused to having their children around them all the time for a protracted period such as this.

No schools are operating. Instead, parents and caregivers are expected to undertake those educational responsibilities at home. No school meals are being offered, placing further strain on already overstretched resources.

The result is as inevitable as it is tragic: some households are buckling under the strain with terrible consequences - parents and adults lashing out at children, many of whom are far too young to understand why or what it is that they have done wrong.

Some families unable to cope are choosing the desperately heart-rending solution of abandoning their young children at places of hope more accustomed to receiving unwanted newborn babies.

Nowhere in the rhetoric and feverish debates about lives versus livelihoods have we heard anyone take up the cudgels for the children.

It’s high time we did. As adults, we don’t just have a responsibility to the youngest and most vulnerable; we have a vested interest in ensuring they are properly nurtured and given the best chance - not just because they are tomorrow’s leaders, but also because they will be our caregivers, too.

The Saturday Star

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