By Thandolwethu Nqezane and Mila Kwatsha
On March 30, Social Development MEC Siphokazi Lusithi visited Qibira Village in Middledrift to deliver special social service to the local schools. She delivered her speech on how she would help the local schools with sanitary pads to ensure that no child is left behind due to their menstrual cycle. She also gave out toiletries to the children, as well as backpacks with sharp calculator to ensure every child has a fair advantage. Lusithi also highlighted that they are in a process of ensuring that the family’s receive grocery’s using their Sassa card instead of it being distributed via tenders.
MEC Lusithi’s long-term goal in Qibira with the Sophumelela Sonke Campaign is to bring social services closer to the people. Their plan is to open a service office in town so that people do not have to travel far for their basic needs and they are trying to eliminate many offices that are in the big towns. Lusithi’s plan is to work with the local communities to build centre’s and originations that will service people with disabilities, victims of gender base violence, within the community. The Department of Social Development will come in to support, sponsor and fund the projects.
One of their major projects this year include gender base violence. They are looking at a more proactive preventive approach against violent, intensifying their behavioral change programs that target school going youth, young boys, and young men. MEC Lusithi believes that the only way to have an impact is if they target the potential perpetrators by changing the set of behaviours that lead to the rise of gender base violence. The last component, which is a priority, is intensification of the NPO sector, because most of the Departmental services work through the NPO’s. They plan to do this by means of training, so that they could be able reach the early childhood development. The department is committed and intends to come in and sponsor the NPO’s. Social development is committed in forging partnerships through the Sisonke Sizophumelela initiative.
MEC Lusithi works together with the local NPO, Department of Education, District Director Amathole, MR V.G Langa, the local clinic, Councilor P. Sabana and the Chieftains of Qibira, N Kama.
MECs Video’s below
Link to pictures of MEC Lusithi special social services in Qibira Village