Round-Table Discussion to Create Safe Spaces for Children

Feb 13, 2023 | News

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SANAC Children Sector in collaboration with UNCEF and Government Departments hosted a roundtable discussion at the Legae la Bana Drop-in Centre in Krugersdorp, Johannesburg, on 21 January 2023, with a view to engage children, adolescents and caregivers about HIV management within their context.

The Roundtable provided a platform for a robust and forward -looking discussion; the lived experiences of children, adolescents and their caregivers; HIV-related factors such as assault, gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF); social and health systems barriers to HIV prevention and treatment adherence; issues of status disclosure, stigma and discrimination as well as access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights.

Furthermore, the discussion was intended to ensure that the voices of children and adolescents are included policy or programme design and implementation – these include the National Strategic Plan on HIV, TB & STIs and the Global Alliance to End HIV in Children by 2030. The inputs from the Roundtable will also be used to influence what goes into implementation frameworks developed to support interventions for children and adolescents.

The Legae La Bana serves vulnerable orphans, In & Out of School Youth and the homeless. The drop-in centre was founded in 2007 for the purpose of caring for children who are disadvantaged and facing various challenges. It has 500 children, 300 of them are registered to receive support from Social Development.

On the day of the Roundtable, the Children had prepared various fun and informative activities, including dance and songs, some of which chronicled their struggles. The roundtable is the first of a series to be hosted by SANAC Children’s Sector and UNICEF across the country in 2023.

The Roundtable was attended by stakeholders inclusive of UN Agencies, Gauteng Provincial Government, Departments of Health, Social Development and Education, as well as youth-centred organisations such as Y+ South African Network, loveLife and Soul City.