Spotlight on substance abuse in Child Protection Week

Sgt Lebo Ramayisa urges learners to use the Child Line number, 08 000 55 555, whenever they feel at risk.

Tsakane – Local Drug Action Committee (LDAC) observed Child Protection Week (May 28 – June 4) by hosting a talk at Letsie Primary School to warn learners about substance abuse.

Sergeant Lebo Ramayiso of the SAPS urges the learners to help the police in their efforts to protect them.

“We want you to be safe, but you do not always listen to us,” he says.

Ramayiso encourages the learners to memorise the Child Line number: 08 000 55 555.

“If anything happens that you are uncomfortable, or confused about, call the number and report it,” he says.

Agnes Mofokeng from SANCA warns the learners to be vigilant, and get as much information on drugs as possible.

“Most people who use drugs do not know exactly how the drugs damage their bodies.”

She says some substances, like benzene and zol (marijuana), stay in the blood for long periods.

“What do you think will happen if the school organises a random drug test?

“Even if you smoked a few days ago, the substances may show up in the results,” she says.

Social worker Tshweni Mahlabe explains she works with minors at Tsakane Court.

“My job is to make sure when a minor commits a crime, like shoplifting, the state gives them the opportunity to make better decisions instead of throwing them in jail.”

She says child offenders need help to realise the consequences of their decisions, and most of them respond positively to the programmes provided.

Matshidiso Silinde, LDAC member and founder of We Can Do It Community Project, says she is eternally grateful to all the stakeholders and representatives who came to give the talk.

“The children always take the police, and people who work with drugs every day, more seriously than us,” she says.

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Xoliswa Kali

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