09 September 2021
In order to enhance efforts of protecting orphaned and vulnerable children, the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu and the MEC of Social Development in Mpumalanga, Ms Lindiwe Ntshalintshali, will on Friday, September 10, officially launch RISIHA, a community-based prevention and early intervention programme in Kwa Guqa, Emalahleni, Mpumalanga Province. RISIHA is a Xitsonga word for “resilience.”
RISIHA programme is a community-based child protection programme aimed at protecting orphans and vulnerable children some of whom are living in child and youth headed households, chronic health conditions as well as those living and working on the streets. When initially conceptualised, the programme was targeted at providing care and support services for children affected by HIV and AIDS as many were left without parents/primary caregivers.
With the rise in the number of vulnerable children, its scope has since been extended to include all children in need of care and protection in terms of Section 150 (1) of the Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005). The programme seeks to strengthen families and communities as the first line of response in the child protection system, with particular focus on children living in disadvantaged communities.
The programme is implemented through the deployment of Child and Youth Care Workers, a cohort of social service professionals who render direct, day to day, prevention, early intervention and care and support services within the life spaces of children. Despite the closure of access points during lockdown level 5, the programme provided services to 192 741 children within their homes.
The official launch of the programme in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has heightened the vulnerabilities of children, will further strengthen South Africa’s child protection system. In the recent past, the Emalahleni area has experienced reported cases of violent crimes against children, including the gruesome killing of Gabisile Shabane, a girl with albinism for muti purposes and a mother who poisoned her four children. The launch of RISIHA in the area seeks to address this and to strengthen community-based interventions to protect orphans and vulnerable children.
Members of the media are invited to attend and cover the launch of RISIHA scheduled as follows:
Date: Friday, 10 September 2021
Venue: Siyanakekela Drop-In Centre, Kwa Guqa, Emalahleni – Mpumalanga Province
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Minister Zulu to Officially Launch Risiha - A Community Based Prevention and Early Intervention Programme for Orphans and Vulnerable Children
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09 September 2021