By Kouthar Sambo
As the festive season takes the forefront, dozens of children are left vulnerable to increased risks of substance abuse and negligence.
Speaking on VOC’s Breakfast show on Wednesday, Director Patric Solomons at Molo Songololo said the organizations assist and empower children and youth. The child rights organisation works with children, promoting their rights, care, and protection.
“We do work with children, doing rights and life skills work with them as well as working with those that have been traumatised by sexual violence. We try and identify sexual exploitation cases and trafficking in children cases,” said Solomons.
“Sometimes there’s a spike in cases and crimes against children, which happens for many different reasons. The period of festivities and Christmas Eve where substance abuse increases and children within the homes are exposed to the neglect and abuse,” explained Solomons.
There are also situations where older children are left alone, added Solomons, they are allowed to see their friends and roam alone in the community while teenagers spend time with their peers.
“We see a lot of peer pressure taking place with teenagers and peers. Parents are gifting their children with cell phones because they obtained good grades, and that also leaves children vulnerable to risks as they can access and send inappropriate information and content,” detailed Solomons.
Economic stress is another contributing factor, said Solomons, especially in January, which increases tension in the homes.
According to Solomons, teenagers tend to feel left out as they want to be with their friends outside and put more demands for goods and clothing on their parents.
“Although it should be a time of festivities, there are also a lot of increased risks for children, which increase their vulnerabilities as well. Parents also have to be on the lookout and see if there are any changes in how children spend their time and with whom. We have to increase our lookout for children during the festive season,” advised Solomons.
Photo: Molo Songololo/Facebook