When I was asked to do this post, I thought I could do it – it is all about children after all. But reading the case studies broke my heart. It broke me not just because I am a mom, but it broke me because I am a human being, a compassionate one, one who believes that children should be seen and not hurt.
When I think of my daughter’s childhood, I want it to be filled with laughter and fun and crazy dances and sweets, swimming and so much more. But not all children will have the same childhood joys she does. For many children in South Africa, childhood is a lot like this box –
empty. They grow up in an environment of pervasive violence. This violence alters the very fabric of their childhoods.
But we say NO MORE! Their little voices will be heard. You, me, together with the Children’s Hospital Trust, South Africa are raising vital funds to support the activities of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.
Here is just one of the stories that broke me:
One year old Sadie* was rushed to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital with a fractured femur. Doctors were told that she fell off the bed, but the fall was not witnessed by either parent. Sadie’s father explained that he left her alone in the family home while he used the bathroom, which was 100 meters from the house. Upon his return, he found Sadie on the floor and crying. When he picked her up, her cries intensified. He explains that this is when he noticed that there was something wrong with her little leg.
Doctors in the trauma centre at Red Cross Children’s Hospital examined Sadie and determined that the type of fracture she had, was not consistent with her father’s version of the events surrounding her injury. A child protection investigation began. After numerous social work assessments and hours of investigation, the findings of the child protection office were heart-breaking:
Sadie’s parents had lied about her fall being an unwitnessed event…
Sadie’s parents had lied about her fall being from a bed…
Sadie’s had lied about Sadie’s fall being a fall at all…
Sadie’s parents got into a physical fight and one year old little Sadie was picked up and used as human shield. In the midst of this violence, her tiny little body was pulled at and hit and in the end, the sheer force of this violence was the reason her little leg broke. Once the fight was over, Sadie’s parents continued drinking alcohol and little Sadie waited – in excruciating pain – for two 2 days before her parents brought her to the hospital.
Sadie has been removed from her parent’s home and now lives in a place of safety.
* YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW HER NAME TO KNOW THAT SHE DESERVED A CHILDHOOD
We need YOUR help:
This year we are standing up and saying NO more. But we cannot do it alone. Below is a list that’s needed to make child protection packs. Your donation can be dropped off at the Child Protection Office or even at my place and I’ll be more than happy to go drop it off on your behalf:
Let’s stand up against violence!