South Africa’s levels of violence against children are among the highest in the world. Tens of thousands of children are victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation every year – and offenders often go unpunished.
Statistics from the SAPS show there were more than 54,000 reported crimes against children between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013. However, crimes against children are grossly underreported and the real figure is believed to be much higher.
Sexual offences make up about half the reported figure. Around 30% of these victims are under 10 years old. Research has shown that in most abuse cases, the offenders are known to the children (source: UNICEF).
Yenzani focuses on the safe housing of children by targeting all its resources to the welfare and education of children in its care and protects them from secondary abuse. The approach is simple – quality over quantity.
Every child is made to feel like part of ‘a family’ and has their physical and emotional injuries attended to by a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, psychologists, nurses, equine and art therapy, individual and group therapy and trained caregivers to re-build their confidence and self-worth for a more positive future.
Children who have been subjected to abuse often have blurred boundaries insofar as their self-esteem and emotions are concerned. It is critical to validate them through healthy and purposeful expression; re-integration into society striving for healing rather than perpetuating the abuse cycle. Social interaction is an important part in children’s development and is actively encouraged through a volunteers and ‘friends’ network through homework, outings, sport, camps, ‘youth’ and Church groups.
Yenzani is open to children aged between 4 and 17 with flexibility in cases involving siblings.