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Moletji Thusong service centre - The rights of children intensified

2 March 2017

By Doc Marabane

Save the Children foundation in conjunction with Lawyers for Human Rights, The United Nation High Commission for Refugees and other local stakeholders held a community dialogue session on migrants living in the local villages of and around Polokwane in Limpopo. The aim of the dialogue was to promote peaceful coexistence and interaction among the locals and migrants.  The community dialogue came at a time when locals and foreign nationals clashes in some parts of the country.

According to Patience Zhou from Save the Children but born in Zimbabwe the aim of the event was to raise awareness and build the capacity of communities to respect the basic rights of migrant and assist them. She said a lot of children are migrating from their respective countries of birth as a result of poverty, political instability or economic opportunities.   “More and more children from South African neighbouring countries found themselves in the receiving end due unfavourable conditioning in their countries,” she said.

Her sentiments was shared by Eric Mahlo who is the manager at Save the Children in Polokwane who reiterated that children irrespective of their origin of birth should enjoy equal rights. He urged communities to respect and welcome migrants as they are also human beings.

The community who were invited in the event participated in group works which according to some of them was eye opener. Some of the questions they were asked are: What do you understand by the word migrant? Why do children migrate on their own and what should you do should you come across a migrant child? Which group of migrant do you have in your community and how do you relate to them?

Phuti Caroline Mokgetla said that she now know why people from other counties living in my area.
Winnie Mamabolo said that she has learned to respect and support migrants are they are our sisters and brothers.
Charlotte Phaka said she is aware of challenges foreign nationals face in their respective countries but urges them to be part of fighting crime in South Africa.

Eric Mahlo, Tebogo Makhalenele, Patience Zhou and Given Masenene from Save the Children during the Moletji community dialogue on foreign nationals.
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