CRC Network of South Africa
Welcome to the CRC Network of South Africa! Here you will find information about the CRC Network of South Africa, how we have been – and still are – working in different projects to strengthen the rights of all children, as well as information about what we have achieved so far.
The Child Rights Programme has taken place in three of the nine provinces in South Africa; Gauteng (one team), KwaZulu-Natal (one team) and Free State from where nine teams have participated in the programme since 2010. All teams have been composed by officials from the Directorate of Values in Education and primary – and secondary school principals.
The Change Agents who has been involved in projects include actors in professional positions representing different socio-administrative levels (province, district and local level). The ambition of the change work in Free State was to create model schools, constituted by rights based and child-friendly schools in each district, to serve as CRC-centers. In total, 11 school principals and 12 officials has been engaged in 10 different project schools.
The CRC Network of South Africa has mainly focused on protecting Child Rights violations due to problems concerning drugs, sexual abuse, corporal punishment, orphans and child headed households. The strategies to overcome these kind of issues has mainly focused on the infusion of CRC in school policies, parental involvement and children’s participation.
One of the different change projects has been revolving around the impact of drug abuse on learner performance. The focus of the project was to create a conducive environment of learning that is safe, free from drugs and all forms of substance abuse, in order to create a child-friendly environment and cater for the 3 P’s (Protection, Participation and Provision). Partnership with different stakeholders were secured to raise awareness on drug abuse and social ills that affects learners on a daily basis. The school that was included in the starting project is now a child-friendly school where rights of learners are protected, and the environment is safe and secure.
There are some more recent projects that has been conducted by the Change Agents of the CRC network of South Africa, with results that has been deemed successful. One of the projects focused on addressing the needs of orphans, in which the aim was to improve their living conditions, i.e. enabling access to school, access to funds and documents, as well as strengthen their participation in school. The project resulted in stakeholders, such as NGOs and governmental institutions, providing learners with school uniforms, food during school, food parcels to take home, as well as important documents, e.g. birth certificates and identity documents.
Another project focused on learners rights in the context of CRC and participation in particular. The project school was characterized by parents not taking active part in school activities and educators, parents and learners were violating the legislation. This lead to poor learner performance, lack of parental involvement and knowledge of CRC, as well as minimal support of learners by educators. The project showed successful results and made educators change their approach to teaching and learning. The project also resulted in more parental involvement in the work on combating drug trafficking, thanks to the involvement by parents and other stakeholders.
The CRC Network of South Africa has agreed upon two topics that need specific efforts for their future work; Sustainability and Networking. In general, efforts needs to be directed towards stakeholders, to involve more people and institutions and to strengthen existing relationships in the network. The integration of CRC in the curriculum, annual meetings concerning CRC and the establishment of a Child Rights Network Information data base are also plans for the future to secure and expand the network.
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