My name is Sarah Morrow and I am the owner of Little Leaders Preschool in Glenhills, Durban North.
Understandably, given all the recent media coverage of the attempted abduction of a 2 year girl at Gateway recently, I have been approached by numerous parents with concerns regarding security.
Mild panic appears to be setting in with the news that human trafficking, and in particular child trafficking, are on the rise in South Africa due to the SWC being hosted here.
I invited my parents to a valuable and extremely informative presentation by Marc Hardwick from 'The Guardian'.
Mark captured our attention for two hours, bringing to our attention many facts and statistically based figures of what human trafficking is, what child trafficking is and how we can protect our children and families against this. He highlighted ways in which we can band together as a community and save the "ones with little or no voices"!!
Mark told us that he was flabbergasted at the fact the the government had decided to close all the schools during this time - that schools were in fact one of the safest places for children to be!!!!!
In particular, he said that schools were one of the few destinations with good security and controlled access to children, yet now the very thing that would go miles to protect our children against these predators was being shut down for this 5 week period!! (Not to mention that parents have to continue working over this time and have little or no control over their children and their where abouts over this time!)
Schools are set up to provide a safe environment for the children. To give you an example of how our security works at Little Leaders (and many schools):
- Remote controlled gate access to the property which are closed and will only be opened should it be clear what the persons reason for access is to the school property.
- Electric gate access to gain entry into the building.
- We do not under any circumstances allow children to leave the property without their parents written permission should it not be the parents taking the child / ren off of the school property.
- Parents are immediatly contacted telephonically should any other person arrive to collect a child and permission has not been granted to the school by the respective parent. The person collecting has to wait out side of the school property until the parents have been reached and permission granted.
- ID documents or drivers licences are used as identification should the parents require another person to collect their child.
At Little Leaders, as at most schools, we are constantly aware of security measures and the need to protect our children. The implications of not being pro-active for your child's safety are devastating and the statistics just keep getting more and more horrific as these predators prey on our families and our most precious children!
Staff work as a team to ensure that there is always someone on the door to meet parents and each teacher and assistant staff member knows the cars and patents of the children that we look after. Our children do not have access to the gate buzzer and each staff member is taught that they are never to open the gates or door should they be uncertain of someone's motives to enter the school property.
Bearing this in mind, Little Leaders have designed a fantastic holiday program for children over the 4 1/2 weeks of SWC. Should anyone like to contact me they can do so on 084 499 7783 and I would be happy to assist where I can.
Kind Regards and yours in love and protection and education of OUR children,
MissingChildrenSA have kindly shared some valuable tips for our children's safety here. For advice from MissingChildrenSA, please click here.
Ed's note: Please enquire at your school about holiday programmes offered - and encourage them to share the details on MomsMatter so that moms can be made aware of all the options for this period. It's going to be a lo-o-o-ong holiday!