Home South Africa News Over 95k calls made to Childline Gauteng during lockdown

Over 95k calls made to Childline Gauteng during lockdown

Rape illustration

The Childline Gauteng has engaged with 95 618 callers during the Level 5 to 2 period of lockdown.

The organisation serves vulnerable children and families 24/7 and 365 days a year. Children receive support from the helpline, sunlight safe house and its community-based counselling centre.

Childline Gauteng director Lynne Cawood said they opened 33 360 cases with counselling sessions with those facing challenges and requiring assistance.

“Covid-19 remains the main priority for 19 510 callers. The structural inequality in our country results in Covid’s impact on vulnerable families being extreme with a great need for psycho-social and economic support,” said Cawood.

The highest categories of callers pertained to Covid-19 along with and services (12 860), which are mostly Covid related.

Other calls range from all forms of abuse (2 145); family (1 225) and legal problems (555); neglect (709) and poverty (480) and substance abuse (345).

“We thank our partners for their support enabling Childline to render these critical psycho-social and child protection services. Despite the many challenges, we know they are facing also facing difficult economic times.”

Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has awarded the helpline service the shortcode, 116, which is an internationally recognised number for children and families in need.

“This 116 number can now be dialled (as well as 08000-55-555 until the end of the year) to access services. The 116 will be easier to read, so remember it and dial.”

Cawood said they trust that they will collectively overcome this traumatic time and a new South Africa will emerge from the lessons learned during Covid-19 where compassion, equality, dignity, and life is assured.

“We trust in a reduction of gross economic inequality, an increase in services and support for vulnerable people, a restoration of pride in our country and our people working together to build a great nation demonstrating our African humanity.”

-The Citizen

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