Unite for a Safer Future: Reflections on the Violence Against Children Conference

In the spirit of Chris Tomlin’s song, “For greater things have yet to come, And greater things are still to be done in this city,” we had the privilege of attending the Violence Against Children conference held at Common Ground Church in Rondebosch on November 9th. This well-organized event, organized by Unity Through Hope, Concerned Clergy of the Western Cape, and Sikunye brought together churches, congregations, and child protection organizations.

It’s heartwarming to witness the growing awareness of child protection amidst the alarming prevalence of abuse and violence against children, especially considering their vulnerability and innocence.

The conference featured inspiring speakers, including Edith Kriel, Arina Smit, Bishop Aaron Makili, Tony Lawrence, and our very own Rev. Melanie Thirion from Little Seeds. The discussions delved into the stark realities of violence against children, the impact of trauma on their lives, the church’s role and opportunities, and strategies for collaboration to ensure the flourishing of children in our communities.

This free event, thoughtfully provided with refreshments for all, included moving praise and worship sessions, even showcasing the enthusiasm of a sight-impaired keyboard player. The prayer and intercession sessions for children caught in the cycle of violence and abuse were particularly touching. Watch the short behind the scenes video here

The shocking statistics presented painted a somber picture, forcing us to confront the true reality our children face. The conference raised crucial questions: How can we support churches, and how can they support us in this collective effort?

We extend our gratitude to Zoë and Sjean for their networking efforts with guests and other organizations. Click here to watch Sjean and Zoë‘s feedback on the event.

It was inspiring to see fellow organizations in the child protection sector, including Arise Family, Mosaic, Childline, Sikunye, Global Voice of Prayer, Kin Culture, SmartStart, FAMSA, DSD, and many more. Let us continue to unite in our commitment to safeguard children, ensuring that they can grow and thrive in a world free from violence and abuse. Together, we can create a brighter future for all.

What are your next steps to safeguard the vulnerable children in the Western Cape?