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Zuma Wants The Isibindi Program To Reach Over A Million Orphans

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: ZAgov}

South Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma says government wants to reach more than a million orphans and vulnerable children in South Africa through the Isibindi program.

The community-based child protection programme is spearheaded by the Department of Social Development. It is implemented in all nine provinces.

The President attended a Christmas Party for orphans and the elderly at Harry Gwala Multi-Purpose Centre in Sasolburg on Thursday.

“We want to partner with 400 local non-governmental partners and create 10 000 jobs for child care workers over five years as we implement the Isibindi programme,” said the President.

He reminded citizens to care for all children in their communities, especially those without parents.

“Due to various social problems in our country from violence, HIV to other causes, we have a large number of orphans and vulnerable children. Government provides as much support as possible through social grants.

“We also work with communities and get foster parents and also adoptive parents. We thank all families during this time, who foster and adopt children in need,” said the President.

He said the provision of homes to children in need is an investment in the future of the country.

“We also have in our communities the phenomenon of child headed households, where parents have passed on and children look after themselves.

“In this case, we urge neighbours to provide support and to work with social workers to ensure that children are cared for in the parental home under the leadership of the oldest child,” said President Zuma.

Given the vulnerability of such children, he urged communities to alert the police so that they can often visit such vulnerable households and ensure the protection of children who live alone.

Celebrating the elderly

He also said older persons, who are at an advanced age and are vulnerable, require care and support and especially good health care.

“We are currently celebrating the improvement in the life expectancy of our people in our country. The life expectancy across genders is currently 62 years, which is an increase of 8 years since 2005.

“This means that the number of older persons is dramatically on the rise in South Africa. Older persons are becoming a proportionally larger segment of the total population because of our successes in fighting the HIV and Aids pandemic, lower fertility rates, a decrease in mortality rates and international migration of young South Africans,” he said.

He said the Medical Research Council predicted that by 2025, more than one person in 10 will be 60 years and older.

The President also reminded police officers of their duties in terms of the Older Persons Act, to respond to complaints of abuse of older persons.

“Our police officers must align themselves with the Older Persons Act by creating a database of available services within the policing precinct to which elderly people can be referred in times of need.

“Our police officers and social workers also need to remember that the elderly are unique and should be treated as such.

“We urge police to conduct routine crime preventative visits to homes with older persons to ensure their wellbeing,” said the President.

He said this is part of promoting the building of police stations that are in touch with the needs of communities.

However, the President said the protection of the vulnerable is not the responsibility of police alone, communities must do the same as well.

{Source : SAnews.gov.za}

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[photo credits: By KHym54 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/khym54/145558686/) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]

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