Responding to issues raised by children in the precious parliaments
During the 2016 Nelson Mandela Children’s Parliament which was held in the North West Legislature – Mafikeng, South African children urged the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in partnership with the Department Social Development, to urgently look into child abuse, poverty, teenage pregnancy, rape, ritual killings, child trafficking, HIV and AIDS and substance abuse. These were Child Ambassadors from 2013-2015 raising concerns and giving feedback.
Although they acknowledged that Government was playing a great role in the well-being of South Africa's children, they felt that a lot more should be done to address these issues and proposed social media platforms amongst other tools to be used to raise awareness and help with the fight against some of the social ills.
The Children’s Parliament is a partnership between the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the Department of Social Development and was inaugurated in 2011 with the aim to:
Children are invited from each of the nine provinces and child ambassadors, who are active leaders in their communities are chosen to represent their respective provinces. The Children's Parliament also gives a chance to teach children about the legislative process.
"Let's acknowledge the work children have done in different provinces; You continue to do what you do regardless of the challenges; You want to be active participants in changing the way things are in your communities." Mampe Tsedi - From the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund #ChildrensParly
Responding to the issues raised during parliamentary proceedings, Minister Dlamini told the Children’s parliament that family is an important pillar in society and the first line of defence in the upbringing of children.
"Fighting poverty is a collective responsibility of the society but protection of children is Social Development's responsibility" Bathabile Dlamini - Minister of Social Development. #ChildrensParly
The Children’s Parliament programme has produced strong and inspiring future leaders. Amongst them was Juleka Sharon Mogale, a child ambassador from Gauteng who led a campaign against teenage pregnancy in her province.
“Through the Children’s Parliament and its processes, I’ve been fed knowledge and experience. The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and with the Department of Social Development have given me all that I need to grow further” - Juleka Sharon Mogale
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