“WE love children. They are just incredibly adorable and if you have a passion for children and their future, then you should get involved in organisations such as Child Welfare,” said Kenny Naidoo, outgoing chairman of Child Welfare South Africa, Port Shepstone branch, at its annual general meeting last Wednesday.
The organisation renders its services, from dealing with HIV/Aids, poverty and poor housing and sanitation, to 55 different areas within the Hibiscus Coast Municipality with most of its clients being serviced in the rural areas.
Its primary focus is children under the age of 12 and the organisation works closely with various role players to provide an efficient service to the community. In an effort to raise funds and create further awareness of Child Welfare, the organisation has engaged the services of an events company. It has also employed a professional grant writer.
In addition to the services already being offered, Child Welfare has also hired a community services worker who is currently doing a sterling job educating and supporting children and communities.
Mr Naidoo raised the questions, “How relevant is Child Welfare in the present SA and is there still a need for this organisation?” Looking at the following statistics, everyone at the AGM agreed that the answer was a definite yes!
A survey conducted recently in South Africa highlighted the dire need for and importance of Child Welfare. Currently there are 18.5 million children in South Africa. Of these children, 4.5 million live with neither parent. Orphans have increased by 30 percent over the past decade.
Foster aid grants have increased over 70 percent, while adoption has decreased by more than 50 percent. Some 150 000 children live in child headed households, while 13 000 live in residential care facilities and an estimated 10 000 live on the streets of SA. In 2013 over 11 million people registered for child support grants and over half a million for foster care grants.
Mr Naidoo said that Child Welfare SA, Port Shepstone had had a tough year financially, however it rose to the challenge with many fund-raising events and donations received from the public.
“This branch has a stable workforce led by Sagree Naicker and together they have been very productive and effective this past year. There is no doubt that this organisation is vital in our daily lives, going out of its way to assist abused, neglected and abandoned children,” said Mr Naidoo.
“There is no better joy, no better legacy than service to mankind and this can be achieved by making a positive difference to every child that crosses our path.”