Headline News
03 November 2023

How can you really help? 

Rustenburg - On Joubert Street, a troubling scene regularly unfolds, and it has caught the attention and stirred the emotions of many a passerby. A woman, with her toddler seated in a shopping trolley, reaches out to the community for assistance. What perhaps distinguishes her is her ingenuity, as she has fashioned a makeshift roof for the trolley, providing shade for her child amid her task of asking for help. 

The story of this mother and child evokes a myriad of questions and emotions in those who encounter them. Many observers empathise with her as a mother who is doing her utmost with limited resources. The questions that come to mind are: ‘Where do they sleep? Where do they wash themselves? Are they safe? Are they in danger of sexual predators on the streets? The image of her pushing the trolley, while seeking help, prompts thoughts of her inner strength, resilience, and determination, particularly in the face of  possible public scrutiny and judgment. 
Nevertheless, beneath the surface, there is an acknowledgment that this situation may be far more complex than meets the eye. One overarching query remains: how can the community respond effectively to such situations? Is there a sustainable solution that could potentially alleviate the predicament faced by such individuals? 

Platinum Weekly reached out to Rustenburg Child & Family Welfare manager, Deidre Janse van Vuuren, and received the following advice: “When a parent uses a child for the purpose of generating money or asking for any goods, even food, it is considered exploitation and should be reported to a child protection organisation, such as Rustenburg Child and Family Welfare. A social worker will conduct further investigations and perform an evaluation to determine if such a child is in need of care and protection. The informant can only provide information about where the person usually is located and descriptive information about their appearance”.

For more information, please contact Rustenburg Child & Family Welfare at 014 537 2014.

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