Northwest Chief Social and Community Development officer, Kebalepile Horitius has called on communities to revive child protection centers as a way of curbing abuse of orphaned and vulnerable children.
Speaking at the Orphan Nest donation event which was held at Maun Main Kgotla last week, Horitius revealed that there are 2477 orphaned children in the Northwest District and that 1640 have been registered in Ngamiland only.
According to Horitius the government is doing its part by providing the orphaned children with basic needs and further urged communities to take care of such children like their own.
“The government has initiated the orphan care program which children get enrolled on as soon as they lose a parent. We sometimes organize retreat camps as a way of uplifting their spirits and the communities should do their part as well even when the children are not theirs biologically,” highlighted Horitius.
Horitius further revealed that currently there are 166 defilement cases which is a clear indication that children continue to be violated.
Apart from sexual violence Horitius indicated that these children suffer from economic violence where the remaining members of the family use their inheritance for personal gratification.
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“There is a children’s act, let us familiarize ourselves with it as it will help us to know children’s rights and proper upbringing of children. Let us unite and protect these children,” pleaded Horitius.
For her part Orphan Nest Director; Morati Kgari expressed concern over the gender-based violence cases which in most instances result in the death of a parent or both, leaving innocent children as orphans.
“Let us come together and end gender-based violence, the children suffer when they lose their parents. There are organizations that offer counselling services that you can approach if you have problems, violence is never a solution,” said Kgari.
Kgari further pleaded with members of the public to report to social welfare offices when they notice a child that is not properly taken care of.
“It pains to see a child unkempt when there are provisions that can help take care of them. Let us unite with social workers in taking care of them,” pleaded Kgari.
Orphan Nest donated toiletries which included toothpaste, Vaseline, washing powder, roll on, sanitary pads, bath towels tooth brush, lotion, bar soap and shoe polish.
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Northwest District Commissioner, Boammaaruri Otlhogile has vowed to ensure that the child protection committees are re-established. Otlhogile and she thanked Orphan Nest for their noble gesture.