Bonus - Boons - When a teacher at a secondary school in Mathopestadt pleaded for assistance to host a career exhibition at her school, various role players eagerly responded. Girly Konopi of the Lesele Secondary School requested role players to assist to empower learners with knowledge about options available to them.
The teacher had at aim addressing youth unemployment, as well as depression among young people, leading to suicides.
“Many of the families in Mathopestadt are child-headed families, which are causing serious socio-economic challenges. Children here have started to lose hope for the future,” explains capt Elsabé Augoustides, police liaison officer.
Various units from the South African Police Services, including the Mounted unit, the K9 unit, Criminal Record Centre and Crime Scene investigation, Public Order, the Tactical Response unit, as well as the Explosives unit, joined in to make a success of this project.
Representatives of Correctional Services, the dept of Education, Social Development, Lifeline, Sanlam, Assupol, FAMSA, the dept of Health, as well as various NGO’s - such as the Serenity Rehabilitation Centre - also answered on the call.
The programme of the day, held on 27 September, was highly informative. Lt Col Mafora of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) office in Rustenburg, encouraged females to support each other to prevent teenage pregnancies. She also urged girls to take preventative measures to ensure that they do not become pregnant. She explained that a young girl of fifteen cannot legally consent to sexual intercourse – men who have sex with minor girls can be charged with Statutory rape. She urged learners to wait to become mothers later in life - indicating that the responsibility of conceiving a child is a very big responsibility. Later the responsibility is too overwhelming and teenagers resort to suicide as an answer.
Genl Arthur Adams, Rustenburg Cluster Commander, referred to the State of the Nation Address when the State President urged South Africans to “be there when the people of South Africa start to turn the situation around” – when lives change for the better. He urged the learners to search for the purpose in their lives and to refrain from using drugs and alcohol. He told learners he has also experienced many hardships in life, but it has made him stronger and the person he is today.
Different SAPS units explained their roles and functions. Learners were invited to enlist once recruitment in the SAPS is advertised.
The organizers expressed gratitude for the involvement of all the groups assisting in this project.