14 January 2013

South Africa: Children Learn About Human Trafficking

Vhembe — Children from this Limpopo community were taught about the dangers of human trafficking during an activity day at the Matavhela Clinic in December. About 300 children, home-based carers, clinic staff and community members attended the event.

"We organise different kinds of activities for children like jumping castles, soccer tournaments, tennis, netball and more, so they don’t get bored during the day. The main aim for this event was to talk to our children and let them know that human trafficking is really happening," said Mudzuli Nduvheni one of the clinic committee members.

Murendeni Makhuvha, a home-based carer said that human trafficking is especially common over holiday periods when children are not supervised at school.

“Human trafficking is real and this is the time of the year when children go missing. We are advising our children to never accept any food from people because it might be poisoned or drugged, and that can kill you or make you fall asleep and that gives those people the power to take you away from your home. So avoid accepting things from people you don't know," said Makhuvha.

Nurse Tangulani Makhado of the Matavhela Clinic warned that human trafficking also puts a person at risk for sexual assault. “Rape often occurs during human trafficking cases.

If this happens we encourage people to rush to the nearest health facility where they can get medication to ward off pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Even if you know the person who raped you it is still important to get tested because you can't tell if someone is HIV positive by just looking at a person. So it is very important to go get tested," said Makhado.

Marther Mathegu, a home-based carer at Matavhela clinic, said: "I hope the children enjoyed the day and most importantly, I hope they heard all that have been said. We love them, we want to see them grow up and become nurses and doctors in order for them to be able to help other people."

Suprise Nemalale is an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from the Vhembe health district in Limpopo.

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