Teddy Bear Clinic visits the Westbury Holiday Programme

Little boys tracing their hands during the holiday programme.

The three-week Westbury Holiday Programme kicked off with fun, education, and sports at the Westbury Recreation Centre with Steven Coetzee and partners.

The hall was filled with more than 50 children of different age groups from the community. Most of them have been sent by parents so that they can stay off the streets.

“We having fun, we have people from the rehab centre, they giving the children a couple of games and talks, they even have a TV show there about child abuse and all those things. Then we have the people from the Teddy Bear Clinic,” said Coetzee.

According to Coetzee, the Teddy Bear Clinic were only there for the first week and the officials from the Health Department were only there for two days. Last Thursday, they also had a Jazz festival for the children, where musicians came to teach the children more about music.

The South African Council on Alcoholism (SANCA), together with the Teddy Bear Clinic and Dowling Primary School all three contributed with the programme’s food, which allowed the children to receive breakfast and lunch before they went home every day.

Keamogetswe Motau, a social worker from the Teddy Bear Clinic explained that every year the clinic goes out into communities to educate the children about abuse and how to go about protecting and reporting it.

An age appropriate movie which promoted the awareness of child abuse and what children should do if they do encounter such situations.

“This holiday programme’s theme is ‘I matter’. Everything that we are doing here is to teach them that they do matter, their voices must be heard.

“Whatever we do is to give them a voice because the teddy bear clinic is about children who have been abused so we saw that its fit that we should bring it to this community because we have never worked with Westbury before,” said Motau.

According to Motau, the programme that they were running with the children was all based on the children’s age groups.

They watched a video that was age appropriate, which taught them how to take care of themselves, their bodies, and who is not allowed to touch them.

Motau added: “We are empowering and giving them the skills of how to protect themselves.”
The holiday programme will continue until about July 24, where parents can be sure that their children will be well looked after, entertained, receiving education and also getting their tummies filled.

For any information regarding the services which the Teddy Bear Clinic provides you can contact the clinic on 011 484 4554.

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Janice Beckett

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