Minister Zulu launches GBV and teen pregnancy outreach programme in Delft
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Cape Town: In response to high rates of teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence-related crimes in the Western Cape, the Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu has launched an outreach programme targeting local schools.
In partnership with Lulwazi Lwethu and Kwanele Foundation, the programme is aimed at creating awareness on GBV and sexual violence, while creating support networks for teenagers within the context of Reproductive Health and Rights Framework Strategy.
The outreach programme is a part of build-up activities that will be held throughout October, which marks Social Development Month. An educational discussion was held at Rosendaal Secondary School in Delft – community notorious for being one of the hotspots for crime and sexual violence in the Western Cape.
Zulu said the programme sought to engage and inspire as many young people as possible. She emphasised the importance of young people seeing that their struggles are validated and that their well-being is prioritised by local and national governments.
“At times when young people see successful people, people of authority or ministers they do not realise that we were children too at some point, often facing challenges similar to what they are currently facing, but we overcame them. My message was that they do not have to repeat the mistakes we have made and that we are here to support them,” she said.
The principal of Rosendaal Secondary School, Chrizelda Layman stated that the programme was well received by pupils, who often face several socio-economic challenges.
The school has worked in partnership with several NGOs in an effort to educate children on career readiness, and how to access tertiary education, bursaries and learnerships.
“All of the pupils benefited greatly from the programme. They were inspired by Minister Zulu’s personal motivational story along with the educational awareness programme. Most of our children come from very poor backgrounds, these talks give them hope and courage them to pursue their dreams,” said Layman.
Educational toys, face masks and sanitary towels were also donated to early childhood development (ECD) facilities in Philippi.
Founder of Lulwazi Lwethu, Lulu Nongogo explained that the organisation decided to shift its attention to ECDs because of the need for young children to be informed about GBV and sexual violence.
She said that when children are able to identify abuse, they are able to report it at schools, where authorities may then be notified.
“As Lulwazi Lwethu we are able to work closely with teachers, and notify social workers and authorities in situations of any kind of abuse experienced by young children. This is how we break the cycle of silence,” said Nongongo.