In partnership with Sunlight, Childline Gauteng commemorated the 21st Birthday of the Sunlight Safe House (SSH) at a year-end function held recently in Parktown, Johannesburg.
Lynne Cawood, Director at Childline South Africa says, “What started as an overnight facility has developed into a well-established children’s home providing various levels of support. The model is about strengthening children and communities to deal with the problems that they’re currently facing by providing 24-hour emergency care through the aid of youth care workers and volunteers.”
Childline South Africa is a non-profit organisation which has worked broadly to protect children across the country against all forms of violence and advocate for children’s rights.
Lerato Dumisa, Sunlight 2in1 Brand Manager says, “Sunlight’s involvement in supporting Childline Gauteng is in line with the brand’s values, making lives brighter for all.”
The relationship between the two has allowed Childline Gauteng to establish a sustainable platform to continue educating, engaging and assisting communities over the years. On average, they assist over 5000 children in a year with 4000 from the helpline and the rest through schools and community-based counselling services.
Since the organisation has no statutory powers, the need for an emergency overnight service stemmed from children who would contact the helpline after hours in need of assistance where police authorities would intervene but have nowhere to place them for the night.
“Children were previously in the care of volunteer moms and dads until the Sunlight Safe House facility was established. Since then, we have assisted over 7000 children from all types of vulnerable backgrounds in their 21 years of service. This includes abandonment, poverty, exposure to crime and traumatized children with behavioral problems,” continues Dumisa.
“As much as we may face some tragic cases, our main philosophy is that every child deserves a happy ending and we hope that with Sunlight’s continued support, we will be able to positively influence the lives of many more children in years to come,” concludes Cawood.
Childline Gauteng now operates in seven community-based centers outside of the inner-city hub, which include Sebokeng, Soweto, Orange Farm, Diepsloot, Katlehong and Thembisa.