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Fighting for the kids

MARVELLOUS MARY: Tsholofelo

Volunteer recognised for her efforts against child sex abuse

The alarming increase in cases of sex abuse against children has prompted one volunteer to act and face the pandemic head-on.

Mary Tsholofelo started volunteering to help sexually abused kids in 2019 and later registered the NGO Safe Space for Children in Botswana.

“I basically teach kids at a young age that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone. Nobody should touch their bodies!” she explained in an exclusive interview with The Voice.

“I did a research and tried to find out how other countries deal with the increasing numbers of abuse of children. That is when I came across Global Child Mission from India and I collaborated with them,” she continued.

“What they told me was in India child sex offenders are sentenced to death,” added Tsholofelo.

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In 2018, the Indian Cabinet approved the introduction of the death penalty for those who rape children, amid uproar over a series of high-profile cases. Nearly 19, 000 cases were registered in India in 2016 alone – more than 50 a day!

Her dedication to fighting for the safety of children earned her recognition on 25th January this year.

She became the first African to receive the Elite Excellence Certificate of appreciation for her timeless service to society from the Indian NGO.

Together with other volunteers, Tsholofelo has been holding workshops around the country. So far they have covered Molepolole, Selebi Phikwe, Serowe, and Francistown.

“We’ve realised that children are at their most vulnerable at home, playgrounds, on their way to and from school,” she said, advising parents to make it a habit to keep an eye on their kids to observe any change in attitude or walk.

She further warned that sex abuse is not just extremely traumatic for kids but can also create problems for the child in their adult life.

“They may have difficulty in conceiving, and are likely to suffer from depression, They could also abuse drugs, suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and even commit suicide,” she warned grimly.

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