Once again we celebrate the 16 days of activism against violence against women and children. We are reminded of the obscenely high levels of child abuse in South Africa. Cape Town has become known as Rape Town.
How can the church respond to this crisis? One of the possible areas is in Sunday School, where children bond with their teachers as a safe adult to whom they can confide.
Fikelela has developed "Jerry Giraffe" a fun interactive teaching tool for Sunday School teachers to teach children skill such as saying know, learning about 'good secrets' and 'bad secrets' learning to express their emotions "star feelings" and 'stone feelings" and helping them to identify a safe adult that they can talk to if they feel uncomfortoble.
Jerry Giraffe had visited a few churches during this year, the kids simple love Jerry and cannot wait for his next visit
Sunday school Teachers find great joy in using the discipline techniques and also find the visuals very helpful. They say the children are much more attentive in class and the shy ones are becoming more talkative than before.
One of the Sunday school teachers were so impressed with the lessons that she implemented this at the school where she is teaching.
Fikelela would like to host another training session in 2015 as we already had some request from parishes showing their interest in the programme.
The last few months we have seen exciting developments in the lives of the children at Fikelela! With improvements in funding we now have trained child care workers on at every day shift. One girl who had passed Grade R twice and was on the way to failing Grade one, came back with 100%!! Imagine her excitement and pride and the pride of the carers.
We have been giving the children extra stimulation when they come home from school . This quarter, the children learnt about all the creatures in the ocean, the beach, weather, seaweed, and more. They enjoyed doing different crafts that assisted their fine motor skills and language development whilst exploring the underwater world. At the end of the term we had a visit to the Aquarium and the children got to see, touch and explore some of the creatures they had learnt about. With eyes wide open and a buzz in the air it was a huge success.
"our children are loving the programme! They are becoming more confident and feeling safe enough to speak. The programme also helps us to instil discipline which means that all the children have a place to share and are not dominated by the disruptive kids! We love the songs and games" A Sunday School teacher
Fikelela's Jerry Giraffe programme is really making a difference!! The children learn in a fun interactive way how to talk about their emotions " star feelings' (good feelings ) and "stone feelings" (bad feelings). They also learn to identify who are safe adults to talk to if they feel bad about something.
Training sessions were held with teachers from seven Sunday Schools and they are running the ten week programme with over 140 children.