Children speak out

Duration: 3 min 29 sec


My name is Rebone and I’€™m 16 years old and a member of Dikwankwetla. In my presentation I mention that children should not take care of their siblings because I’€™ve experienced that kind of situation. I’€™m taking care of my six siblings, four of which are HIV positive. I think that children should not take care of their siblings. Cos, as me, it affects me mentally, I cannot cope well at school. I think parents should be responsible to take care of their children.

SUE: Are you the oldest?

REBONE: Yes, the one who came after me is 10 years, the other one is 8, the other one is 6 years, the other is 3, the other is 2 and the last one is 9 months. When I get up in the morning I bath them to go to school, and then when I come after school I clean the house, and I cook for them, and when they come out of school I have to wash their uniforms, so that it could be clean and I help them with their homework.

SUE: And what grade are you in?
REBONE: Grade 11

SUE: And who helps you with your homework?
REBONE: [Laughs] No one, teachers at school. During the school day I ask one of my teachers if the homework is difficult for me I ask her or him to help me.

SUE: And when do you find the time to do your homework with all the other things that you’€™re doing?

REBONE: When my grandmother is helping me, when she’€™s not sick, because she’€™s a diabetic person. Sometimes she’€™s ill, sometimes she’€™s fine. So she’€™s the one who helps me.

KURT: The reason why I’€™m so passionate about this is because I see, if I look at some of the people I know, there’€™s a lot of people especially young children who have potential they have the ability to do such amazing things but they won’€™t be able to because their rights were violated.

SUE: Kurt is from Cape Town. He explains some of the issues facing his community.

KURT: Issues relating with the community and the police, because there isn’€™t a neutral ground, there isn’€™t a good understanding with the two, so definitely that. And gangsterism and crime, and also abuse. In the Western Cape, not a lot of people speak about it openly, but just because they don’€™t speak about it, doesn’€™t mean that it doesn’€™t happen.

HOLLY: My name’€™s Holly and I’€™m from the Western Cape as well. In my school, I’€™d say one of the main issues is drug abuse. We’€™ve had a recent story about a girl from my school who has been sleeping with her drug lord for drugs, which is very scary. My friends go out on the weekend and they go out to get drunk and take drugs and stuff which is very scary as well. So I’€™d say the main problem is drug abuse and than also teenage pregnancy.

MATHAPELO: Hi, my name is Mathapelo and I’€™m from North West. In our province, the toll free number for abuse is not working and it is in a different language so when children phone there for help, they don’€™t get the person who can understand. So there was a misunderstanding of language there. And in hospitals, nurses aren’€™t child friendly, so children are afraid to ask for information at hospitals & clinics, because they know they will be shouted at and yelled at there. Some nurses also laugh at children’€™s questions. So they don’€™t pay attention to what children are saying. So I think that should be improved.

E-mail Sue Valentine


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