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UNICEF Canada Ambassador, Solange Tuyishime, visits programmes for children in South Africa

UNICEF South Africa/2017/Bisin
© UNICEF South Africa/2017/Bisin
UNICEF Canada Ambassador, Solange Tuyishime, visited a UNICEF-supported Safe Park in Soweto on 24 August.

South Africa, 25 August 2017 – The Safe Park at Freedom Park in Soweto was quiet upon arrival of the delegation from UNICEF and the Canadian High Commission waiting for the children to come from school. UNICEF Canada Ambassador Solange Tuyishime was ushered into the tin multiple-use structure for the briefing with some of the Child and Youth Care workers.

Solange is in South Africa to compete in the Mrs. Universe competition and chose this time to visit one of UNICEF South Africa’s flagship programmes, the Isibindi child and youth care programme.

Isibindi (meaning courage in Isizulu) and the Safe Park was started in response to the HIV epidemic in the country in 2000. Endorsed by the Government, Isibindi focuses on the psychological well-being of children and adolescents by supporting positive caregiving in most disadvantaged households and assisting families to access key services. Combined with Safe Parks, which are spaces for recreation and learning created especially for children affected by poverty and at risk of violence and abuse, Isibindi is driving positive change in many disadvantaged communities and offering hope and opportunities for children across the country. 

UNICEF South Africa/2017/Bisin
© UNICEF South Africa/2017/Bisin
Solange posing with 9 year-old Talento, ‘President’ of the Soweto Safe Park.

“What a reminder of why we do the work we do for children around the world. Visiting Isibindi was heartwarming and full of hope”, said Solange during the visit. “All I saw was what is possible; what we can accomplish together. Isibindi is truly a circle of care, where we no longer see sadness and difficulties, but the love and courage of incredible people who work hard to build a better future for children in their communities and around the world.

I am grateful to have been here in person, but more importantly I leave here with a mind and heart fully motivated to continue educating Canada and the rest of the world about the needs of children around the world, incredible work that is being accomplished and how we can do our part and help.”

“Don't give up on yourself, there’s something special about you. You are the future. This is my message to all children in South Africa”, said President of the Soweto Safe Park, 9 year-old Talento.

Forming part of the delegation was Ster Kinekor Cinemas’ Corporate Social Initiative Manager, Mrs. Geradine Engelman, as well as Mrs. Jennifer Cooper and Ms. Lara Engel, from the Cooperation Department at the Canadian High Commission in Pretoria,. “UNICEF is the world’s leader in protecting children and ensuring children have access to basics like health care, education and clean water. Seeing this first-hand today at the safe park was very powerful and inspiring”, said Mrs. Cooper. 

 

 
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