Child kidnap victim asks Ramaphosa to protect SA kids
The little girl from Lenasia wants the president to set up better controls to ensure children are well protected.
Aliyana, who was a victim of kidnapping when she was 4, has written and recorded an open letter to the president on YouTube demanding better support for children.
She has also invited him to visit Lenasia and speak to the community.
In the letter, Aliyana said: “Our deepest cocerns (sic) as society are not been (sic) addressed leaving the future generation lost! Evrey (sic) day children are being killed, kidnapped traficked (sic) instilling stress in soiety (sic).”
Aliyana was kidnapped by her father’s friend five years ago. Her mother Valerie Tameemi - who had allegedly been abused by the child’s Iraqi father - found her after weeks of searching.
Authorities then sent Aliyana to a place of safety where she was also abused until her mother managed to have her removed.
“What happened when I was 4 years old helped me want to become an activist. I started the YouTube channel earlier this month and I want other children like me - who were once kidnapped - to know that they are not alone and I want our leaders to do something about this matter,” she said.
Tameemi said she was proud when her daughter said she wants to be an activist.
“Aliyana is a child who most people, especially children, gravitate towards. She’s very loving and always takes care of the people around her,” Tameemi said.
The mother said it worried her that children as young as hers have to turn to activism.
“Why are young kids the only people who want change in society? What happened to leaders setting good examples to our children?”
Tameemi also said there was a huge gap between communication from the president and children.
“As parents, we are aware that we are going to die at some point but that makes us sad because we’re leaving our children in such a horrible society.
“There’s no future for them,” Tameemi said.
She said her daughter is also advocating for world peace because every day they receive sad news and pictures from their family in war-torn Iraq. She also lived in Dubai where she met and married Aliyana’s dad.
“I lived happily abroad but here I cannot allow my daughter to be free I am always worrying about her safety. This is sad because this country is known for its beautiful tourist destinations but a lot of horrible things are happening as well,” she said.”