Save the Children South Africa (SCSA) is part of the world’s largest independent development and rights based organisation for children, represented in over 120 countries worldwide. We fight for their rights. We help them fulfil their potential. In South Africa, we aim to work in all provinces to ensure that every child, especially the most vulnerable, has a happy and healthy childhood.

Our Vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation.

Our Mission is to inspire breakthrough in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.

Our Values Are to put the child at the centre of everything we do.


"Save the Children is often told that its aims are impossible, that there has always been child suffering. We know it is impossible only if we make it so. It's impossible only if we refuse to attempt it "


children – wherever they are – was her abiding passion. It remainsour driving motivation and passion today.

And so, as Save the Children South Africa, we continue to work every day to ensure that we are part of the first generation that will ensure that no child dies from preventable diseases, and that every child gets the chance to fulfil their potential.

This year we helped more than 65,000 children in South Africa, however despite this, our work has only just begun and we have yet to make many more differences and overcome many more challenges. Our work has been made possible by the numerous partners, companies and individuals who have continued to walk the journey with us. I therefore wish to thank all those who willingly supported our efforts in 2015. We know we can count on you to help us achieve yet so much more.

Finally, I wish to thank our board members and all staff and volunteers for their hard work, and to you, the public, for your support. Together, we have achieved a lot for the children of South Africa.

The journey of Save the Children South Africa started three years ago. At the time we committed ourselves to giving every child a chance to grow and thrive. Since then we have endeavoured to put children at the center of everything we do and to impact their lives in a meaningful way. Indeed, the road has not been easy. Being a non-governmentsl organisation, our work is sometimes filled with trials and tribulations. The world in general and South Africa in particular is a difficult place for children to grow.

Every day we encounter the plight of children in South Africa, due to substance abuse, lack of care and homelessness. These are consequences of parents being forced to leave their homes to work in other provinces or towns, due to the state of unemployment, among other factors. Children are often left to either care for themselves, or in the care of neighbours and friends, who do not necessarily put the child’s interest first. We know from our own research that only 35% of children live with both their parents, 23% live with neither of their parents, 3% live with their father only and almost 30% live with their mothers. Whilst the majority of children not living with their parents, are not orphans, they continue to live in poverty with extended family members and this is not an ideal situation for a child to grow and thrive. [source: Children’s Rights Save the Children South Africa]

The plight of children in South Africa also extend to refugees and asylum seekers from neighbouring African countries and in this report, you will read the story of Zainia, a one year old child who witnessed attacks in South Africa. Her family fled from the Democratic Republic of Congo because of conflict and came to South Africa with hopes of finding political refuge and a better future and instead, they faced daily hardships. However, our work is also full of triumphs. Said our founder Eglantyne Jebb, ‘humanity owes the child the best that it has to give’. She dreamt of a world where no child should suffer extreme and life-threatening hardship. Tackling the suffering and hardship of

However, our work is also full of triumphs. Said our founder Eglantyne Jebb, ‘humanity owes the child the best that it has to give’. She dreamt of a world where no child should suffer extreme and life-threatening hardship. Tackling the suffering and hardship of


We continue to work in partnership with the government, corporates, civil society and academia, to build the capacity of our partners, and where appropriate to support them in achieving their goals in the work that they do for the rights of children. All partnerships contribute to our work and minimise the challenge of our day to day activities.

As a non-profit organisation (NGO), we are dependent on public funding, to execute our work with the necessary resources and are reliant on strategic partnerships to ensure that our intended efforts reach the right recipient, with the desired outcomes and effect. It is with much gratitude that we thank all of our partners and look forward to growing more partnerships to allow our work to reach greater extents.

  • KwaZulu-Natal Civil Society Organisations Coalition (KZNCSOC)
  • KwaZulu-Natal Blind and Deaf Society
  • Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR)
  • Lima
  • Little Elephant Training Centre for Early Education (LETCEE)
  • McMillan Teacher Campus
  • Mikhululu Trust (MT)
  • Mpumalanga Community Workers Programme
  • Music Voyage
  • Musina Legal Advice Office (MLAO)
  • Natal Early Learning Resource Unit (NELRU)
  • Nongoma Municipality
  • Office of the Premier Limpopo Province
  • PATH
  • Penreach
  • Phoenix Child Welfare
  • Protea Landmark Hotel
  • Refugee Social Services
  • Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI)
  • Richmond Municipality
  • Sonke Gender Justice
  • South African CSO Coalition for Newborn, Child, Adolescent, Women’s and Maternal Health Services (SACSoWACH)
  • SALGA Limpopo
  • Singakwenza
  • South African Human Rights Commission (KwaZulu-Natal)
  • The Rotary Foundation
  • Umzamo Clinic
  • uMhlathuze Municipality
  • Umtata Child Abuse Resource Centre (UCARC)
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • University of South Africa (UNISA)
  • Vhembe and Capricorn districts
  • Working Group on Positive Discipline


  • Alliance for Children’s Entitlement to Social Security (ACESS)
  • Built Environment Support Group (BESG)
  • Caversham Education Institute
  • Centre for Child Law (CCL)
  • Chic Mamas
  • Childline
  • Child Welfare
  • Children in Distress (CINDI) Network
  • Children Radio Foundation (CRF)
  • Children’s Rights Centre
  • Cross Border Coordination: Zimbabwe; South Africa and Mozambique
  • Department of Basic Education (DBE)
  • Department of Health (DOH)
  • Department of Social Development (DSD)
  • The Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA) - Provincial and National
  • Ethekwini Municipality
  • Freedom Stationery
  • Future Families
  • Harambee
  • Health Systems Trust
  • Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
  • Ilifa Labantwana
  • Inkandla Municipality
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  • KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture
  • KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education
  • KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health (district and provincial offices)
  • KwaZulu-Natal Department of Human Settlements
  • KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport (Road Safety)


  • Alex Hetherington
  • Bibimbap Backpackers
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Combined Motor Holdings Group (CMH Group)
  • Motor Holdings Group (CMH Group)
  • Department of Social Development (DSD)
  • Edna Burford Trust
  • The ELMA Foundation
  • Fulton Trust
  • Gold Circle
  • Greenacre Remembrance Trust
  • HCI Foundation
  • Hugo Gaultier
  • James Formby
  • Industrial & Consulting Services
  • Ivy May Colere Trust
  • Merrowdown Charity Group
  • Operation Jumpstart ( formerly Community Care Centre )
  • PACT
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  • RadioAid
  • Robin Hamilton Trust
  • San Sereno Friendship Knitting Circle (GIK)
  • Save the Children Australia
  • Save the Children Italy
  • Save the Children Sweden
  • The Spar Group
  • United States Agency For International Development (USAID)
  • Wakesfield Strategic partners

communities to support reading activities, this programme reached more than 20,000 children in the learners foundation phase.

We engaged with districts and teachers directly in the seven provinces in which we operate, to introduce the Positive Discipline approaches that was developed and tested through the programme. We reached more than 25,000 people through the provision of training and support, and information sharing workshops. This was made possible by equipping duty bearers with positive approaches skills to discipline a child; and it served to offer protection to children from physical punishment and humiliation in schools and in their homes.

We impacted 13,709 young children, by improving the quality of ECD services in crèches. This ECD programme provides accredited training to ECD practitioners and support staff. It also provides consistent assistance to ECD centres through training, mentoring and resource mobilisation.

We strengthened Child Rights’ systems by means of training and direct engagement of 5,067 children and duty bearers. These children were supported in their efforts in raising their needs and concerns with politicians ahead of the local government elections.

Local and international Save the Children programmes have been active in South Africa since 1944. As with all the other countries in which we employ our resources, we ensure lasting impact in the lives of children in South Africa and beyond. In doing so, we consider a number of underlying principles that guide our programmes and campaigns:

Our programmes, advocacy work and campaigns are based on the sole purpose to save children, in doing so we partner with other civil society organisations, corporate companies, academia and government to ensure a vibrant children’s sector in South Africa, these are all directed through respective communities, to maximise the impact we have on the lives of children.

Our advocacy work has assumed us the position of a thought leader in children’s rights, challenging societal norms and beliefs. We aim to become one of the ‘go-to’ organisations for the rights of children and we therefore continue to seek innovative solutions for the challenges that are faced by young children. In this regard we persist in creating opportunities for children to speak about their problems, as well as to seek new opportunities for their wellbeing.

Above all, our programmes are delivered with the aim of creating lasting change for children in South Africa.

In 2015 we reached more than 65,000 children directly and in total almost 80,000 people, through working with partners in communities, schools, Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes and municipalities.

Our efforts are estimated to have impacted over 1.5 million people indirectly, through activities in raising awareness of issues affecting children in South Africa and through systemic partnership involvements in schools and communities. We have reached large numbers of children through our activities and interventions, which were effected through a number of platforms.

The Foundation Phase Literacy was implemented through the Literacy Boost model in schools and through engaging


the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is for this reason that we supported the National Department of Health in highlighting gaps in services to achieve their goals. As chair of SACSoWACH, we facilitated the launch of the coalition, which coincided with the commemoration of the World Prematurity Day, on the 16th November 2015 at the Kalafong Hospital in Pretoria. This was the very first time the World Prematurity Day was commemorated in South Africa. The success of the event was also evident in the number of participants it attracted, 140 contributors, which

included many South African dignitaries. A big part of the event’s success, it that this was the very first time the World Prematurity Day was commemorated in South Africa. The minister of health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi gave a keynote address and the new patron of the coalition, Dr Tshepo Motsepe-Ramaphosa, who is also the wife of the deputy president of South Africa, launched the coalition.

During the breastfeeding week (1-7 Aug), we held a roundtable event in Durban, which was attended by over 60 people and a community dialogue in Limpopo that attracted over 100 people. In collaboration with PATH, we organised advocacy activities on saving new-borns lives. These included a roundtable event in Secunda, Mpumalanga that attracted about 100 participants from the government healthcare sector and the community. Another community dialogue took place in Turrfontein, which also attracted over 100 participants.


In rural KZN one pack of sanitary pads could cost the equivalent of three loaves of bread and when the choice is between food and sanitary pads, there is really no contest, as food is deemed a necessity and pads, a luxury item As a consequence, girls often miss school because they cannot afford sanitary pads and want to avoid the embarrassment of having a “leakage accident” at school. This not only affect their attendance at school and academic performance, but also the stigma from fellow learners drawing the conclusion that the girl is absent because she is menstruating.

SCSA worked to improve menstrual hygiene management, health, dignity and social interaction amongst girls in the rural KwaZulu-Natal Ugu and the Harry Gwala districts. This initiative was managed via the Umzinto Menstrual Management Project (UMMP). A good number of 363 girls from grades 8-11 attending Siphapheme High School in Umzinto were selected to be a part of the programme.We also worked with 403 adults who were the caregivers of the girls. During the baseline survey that we conducted with the girls prior to the launch of this project, we were alarmed to find that, whilst some of the girls were using pieces of cloth as substitutes for sanitary

The South African Government has the responsibility of ensuring the absence of disease, as well as children’s’ physical, mental and social well-being, in order for the children to survive and develop to their full potential. All children have the right to have access to quality health services.

While life expectancy and survival rates of children have improved, the mortality rate of South African mothers and infants are still alarming. Child mortality rates declined substantially across all provinces between 2009 and 2012. The Committee on Morbidity and Mortality in Children (CoMMIC) under 5 years recognises a reduction in the under 5 years mortality rate (U5MR) from 56 to 39 and the infant mortality rate (IMR) from 39 to 28 per 1000 live births. However, the neonatal mortality rate (NNMR) has reduced only marginally from 14 to 11 deaths per 1 000 live births. This slow progress has limited our steps in reducing overall child mortality rates. The maternal mortality rate has dropped since 2007, when it was 299 per 100,000, but still remains high at 155 per 100,000.

The strategic goal of Save the Children South Africa is to make sure that no child under the age of five die from preventable diseases and to safeguard all children in South Africa in growing healthy, long-term lives.

We impacted 967 healthcare workers and community members through workshops and dialogues, on the benefits of breastfeeding, improved feeding practices and new-born care.

We strive to reduce neonatal mortality by promoting effective community new-born care strategies and prevent malnutrition among children aged 0-5, to ensure that they survive and thrive.

SCSA did much campaigning, through holding dialogues on breastfeeding in communities, which more directly addresses our health and nutrition strategy.

There are a number of civil society organisations (CSOs), institutions and individuals working within child, adolescent and maternal and women’s health in South Africa who have the potential to positively influence policies and programmes to address Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) and to raise awareness amongst key target audiences, including the community. The South African CSO Coalition for Newborn, Child, Adolescent, Women’s and Maternal Health Services (SACSoWACH) therefore have a very important function, to strengthen the link with government and the community, to mobilise the community to increase demand for essential services they are entitled to, and to enforce the accountability of the department of health in its commitment to improve access to quality reproductive healthcare. These actions are essential for the achievement of



Sinenhlanhla comes from a family of seven, she lives with her parents, two sisters and two brothers in the rural area of Umzinto known as "Kwadumisa". Neither of her parents have a formal job, however her mother sells fire wood to the community to make ends meet. She is currently doing grade 11 at Siphapheme High School, a government school under "Section 21" of the South African Education Policy, which means it caters for learners from a disadvantaged background whose parents / caregivers cannot afford to pay school fees and learners are provided with a meal at school through a feeding scheme.

Her journey in her own words "I wake up everyday at 5am and prepare to go to school and i'm back at home round about 3pm, after school I do household chores and then I collect wood in the bush so my mother can sell it to our neighbours to put food on the table. After doing the chores, only then do I find the time to do my school homework".

Sinenhlanhla mentioned that "most girls in families in my area have a challenge of getting pads, as many are struggling to provide for their families, however ever since Save the children brought the programme of UMMP reusable pads to our community, it made life so much easier. Parents are not struggling to buy pads anymore, as they have an alternative of reusable pads and they have saved money. In my community, girls are not allowed to enter the kraal or cook for male family members during our menstrual period, this made us feel restricted, however, the programme has shown us that a girl on her period is still normal".

pads, others were using unhygienic substitutes, like leaves and ash. The sheer unaffordability of sanitary pads left the girls with little to no other choice – as some would require even more than just one pack of sanitary pads for one monthly menstrual cycle.

Since 2005, we have implemented a number of developmental programmes in the Harry Gwala District, of KwaZulu-Natal. These are rural areas characterised by issues such as unemployment, poverty, HIV/Aids, children in ‘informal foster care’, single parent families, child headed households, school dropouts, and teenage pregnancies. Sanitation facilities, which are limited to pit latrines and access to water is a challenge within this community, as water is obtained through standpipes or from the river. This poor sanitation infrastructure in schools has a detrimental influence on menstrual hygiene management of girls within this community.

Young girls with limited income also face challenges in acquiring sanitary towels. This results in very unhygienic and undignified methods being used to cope with their menstrual flow. This situation results in regular absence from school, which impacts on their learning, but also serves an indicator that the girl is on her monthly menstruation and greatly impacts on their dignity, privacy, and social interaction.

This project employed a holistic approach to improve the girls’ understanding of menstrual hygiene by providing suitable methods of managing menstrual periods, so that the daily routines of young girls are not negatively impacted. These methods included, working with the caregivers programme to train mothers to openly speak to their daughters about menstruation. In simultaneously training the caregivers and the girls on menstrual management and hygiene, ensured that the girls received the necessary support at home, especially during their menstrual cycle. In addition, girls, their caregivers and community members were able to obtain a better understanding of menstruation, in order to support females going through this natural aspect of life.

Save the Children South Africa partnered with Dignity Dreams who provided reusable sanitary pads which were distributed to the girls at Siphapheme High School. The pads, which are easy to use and wash, are also environmentally friendly, given they are reusable. We trained the girls on the correct use and hygienic care for the pads, before distributing them. Following the implementation of this programme, the school reported a marked increase in the attendance rate of the girls, which had a direct effect on the improvement in their academic performance.

These girls have reported that the awareness campaign was a liberating experience and they are now able to attend school regularly and partake in the school’s activities, even when they are menstruating –through this programme, we have restored their dignity..


Education is linked to all development goals, such as supporting gender empowerment, improving child and maternal health, reducing hunger, fighting the spread of disease and poverty, encouraging economic growth and creating peace.

Our strategic goal in this area of our work is to ensure that all children have access to equal education opportunities and to ensure that young children under the age of five enjoy a safe, stimulating and quality early living and learning environment.

Early Childhood Development (ECD) work included working directly with the management of two ECD centres in Mpumalanga and Gauteng, in providing daily education, care and development to 84 young children.

We have improved the quality of ECD services to 5,275 young children, through the support given to four regional ECD forums in KZN and provided 205 ECD supervisors and practitioners with training, administrative support, access to tools, mobilisation of resources and mentoring.

Children’s’ teachers to the number of 7,954 and 303 ECD centre supervisors in KZN benefited from accredited training to improve the quality of care, education and support provided to children who attended ECD centres.

A further 396 young children in five ECD centres in KZN benefited from the training that was provided to ECD practitioners, to enhance social integration of children of other nationalities, into these centres.

Our basic education programme reached 17,405 learners in the Foundation Phase, in 70 school communities in Free State and Mpumalanga and 385 educators and community reading facilitators were aided by the afforded training. The assistance came from improved reading instruction and increased opportunities to access books and reading activities in the community.

The sum of 7,951 learners in ten Free State schools benefited from support to improve the quality of education in the schools, by the support that was prearranged through teacher training, implementing community reading activities, strengthening leadership in schools and improving care and support to vulnerable learners.


Kaylene van der Haar runs Ezzy’s Ark, a home-based ECD service that looks after 32 children. Her service has been in place for just over a year and she joined the Wentworth Early Childhood Development Forum (WECDF) in 2015. Kaylene is in the process of registering her ECD service and has benefited from the training, advice and assistance of the WECDF in regard to the requirements for registration and meeting the legislated norms and standards for a Partial Care Facility. Recently Kaylene was faced with a situation that threatened to close her fledgling business. Gail received a phone call from a parent who alerted her to the fact that her child had been diagnosed with hand-foot-and-mouth disease. The parents did not know where the child had picked up the disease, but were concerned that it might have been passed on to other children, or even been contracted at Ezzy’s Ark. A month later the same young child was diagnosed by a different doctor as having a second bout of hand-foot-and-mouth disease.

South Africa still has massive inequities in learning opportunities amongst children. The realisation of other social and legal rights’ depends on access to quality education as it has a multiplier effect, bringing lasting benefits to all.



SCSA participated in public and private sector activities to finalise the ECD Programme and Policy. The Cabinet of South Africa signed the ECD Policy on 13 December 2015; this policy will now inform SCSA’s ECD strategy and programme going forward. We successfully participated in advocating for the relevant authorities, specifically DSD and Environmental Health, to recognise Home Based and Non-Centre Based ECD Programmes. In the Western Cape and KZN, two home-based centres were awarded Conditional Registration by DSD. These achievements mean that, recognition will be given to more numbers of children accessing ECD services; government will have information on the additional number of previously unrecognised services and where they are located; the quality of service provided through home and non-centre based services will be improved; and there will be more opportunities for these services to access government funding.

We have continued to build partnerships with other stakeholders in the sector and successfully contributed to the two-way communication between grassroots ECD service providers and decision makers, to develop and deliver appropriate solutions across different contexts. We also worked closely with the National DSD to address the Registration of Sizolomphakathi in Tjakastad, Mpumalanga. The Sizolomphakathi ECD Centre is managed for children aged between three and six years from 7:30 to 14:00. Two teachers follow a curriculum which enable the children to be properly prepared for their formal schooling years.

Another partnership initiative is one that started in 2011, at which time it was determined that many vulnerable children in the community of Tjakastad could not access the services of the Department of Social Development’s Drop-in Centre, which caters meals to needy, as it is more than five kilometres from where they live. SCSA consulted with the community and to cater to the needs of these children, established a drop-in centre in closer proximity to their homes. The centre feeds about 100 to 120 children with a cooked meal every day on weekdays, of the children that are fed daily, approximately 91 of them are under the age of ten. They are provided with a substantial and healthy meal that includes, a protein, starch, fresh vegetables and a fruit and which more often is their only balanced meal for the day.

To support SCSA at the centre, participants in the Department of Cooperative Governance’s Community Workers Programme (CWP) have brought on board to cook meals, do general cleaning and maintain the food gardens on the premises. In the past, the children attending the drop-in centre did so in an ad-hoc basis, and left as soon as the meal was finished, however we have introduced a requirement that in order to receive the meal, the children have to stay and complete their homework at the centre.

SCSA’s work in Mpumalanga addresses some of the major concerns within the primary education sector in South Africa and ongoing government initiatives aimed at reducing poverty. The drop-in centres provide support to vulnerable children, who are kept safe and receive a nutritious meal, which supports their mental and physical health. This project is unique as it addresses many of the challenges faced by the children of Tjakastad, whilst leveraging the support from government and strengthening government systems around education and job creation.

We also actively participated in dialogues to ensure that the Non-Government Sector is adequately and appropriately represented in the National ECD Inter-sectoral Committee.

Kaylene had little knowledge of the disease, and immediately asked for advice of SCSA. She was provided with information to assist her with identifying the symptoms. Kaylene checked the other children for similar symptoms and reviewed the Absenteeism Register to see trends of children who had had been ill and/or absent over the past weeks. She then identified that three other children had the same symptoms, but had been diagnosed as having other illnesses. Kaylene took further steps, by informing the local Clinic (Gateway Clinic) of these symptoms.

As she was new to the WECDF, Kaylene had not yet attended the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) training. Whilst her ECD service was clean, she had not implemented some of the practices recommended to ensure that children do not pass on diseases to one another. She was advised to sterilise the place, including toys, bedding, floors, walls, and to create a stronger awareness amongst the ECD teachers of the importance of good practices of hygiene. She has since participated in WASH training and implemented a WASH policy in her ECD place, which entails regular cleaning and sanitising, as well as hand washing to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.

Kaylene was one of the lucky ones. The guidance, support and knowledge provided by the WECDF, and stakeholders such as Gateway Clinic, enabled her to settle the problem and put in place corrective measures. This case further created an opportunity to equip ECD practitioners to deal with communicable, contagious diseases in young children.

Said Kaylene of her experience, “I’ve learnt to work with people and to cherish everyone’s input. We worked as a team. I am now more aware of the importance of hygiene and can implement the necessary methods to ensure a healthy and safe environment for children. It helped me grow personally, emotionally and in obtaining as well as in the confidence to deal with matters head on.”


In the School Capacity Innovation Programme (SCIP), our Accelerated Progress in Early Graded Reading project reached almost 20,000 children through community reading and teacher training in the Foundation Literacy programme. Training provided to Foundation Phase teachers, are delivered by Subject Advisors in the Free State who have incorporated the teacher training and community action components of Literacy Boost, into the provincial Reading Strategy. The programme aims to ensure that all children can read by the time they leave grade 3. An in-depth analysis of a subsample of the children reached through our programme has shown significant improvements over one year of implementation. In the Free State, there was an 18% improvement in the home literacy environment, a 7.57% improvement in children’s ability to recognse English words, 10.16% improvement in the number of English words read in a minute, and a 15.22% improvement in the accuracy of reading in English. . Furthermore, the programme realised a 20.5% increase in the number of children that could read and comprehend English. In Mpumalanga, results from a sub-sample of children in our programme showed a 10.48% improvement in home literacy, as well as major improvements in children’s literacy skills in both their home language and in English, ranging from 9.27% (letter recognition) to 45.9% (English Accuracy). In addition, the programme guaranteed a 31.5% increase in the number of children that could read and comprehend the content in their home language, as well as a 46.8% increase in the number of children that could read and comprehend in English


Millions of children around the world are in danger of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence – at home, in school, in the community or during unforeseen emergencies and the situation is no different in South Africa. Save the Children keeps the most vulnerable children safe from harm.

Despite the sophisticated legal framework, South Africa is still marked by high levels of violence against, and exploitation of, children. Recorded levels do not accurately reflect the full extent of the problem because many cases are not reported. The situation is exacerbated by a public attitude of acceptance of violence against children, where children face routine violence in the form of corporal punishment by parents and teachers. This violence form of corporal punishment in schools has continued, despite the legal ban of it in the School Act/1996. The 2012 Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention violence in school’s study revealed that almost 50% of learners reported being caned or spanked by educators. Violence has long-lasting consequences for children, with strong evidence of a link between childhood violence and adult mental health disorders, substance abuse, low self-esteem and decreased self-discipline.

In regard to child protection, SCSA’s role is to ensure that all children thrive in a safe environment, free of violence, no matter their background. The SCSA Promoting Positive Discipline in Schools Programme was undertaken at three levels: (1) piloting the 7-step programme for positive discipline in order to develop a ‘best practice’ model that may be replicated in schools across South Africa, (2) the training of educators, and (3) serving on the Discipline in Schools Task Team, established by the National Department of Education (DBE). The development of the best practice model was implemented in 15 schools, in partnership with Phoenix Child Welfare over an 18 month period, ending in December 2015. The methodology involved a process evaluation using qualitative methods of data collection; including focus groups, interviews, meetings, observations, pre-test and post-test questionnaires, on-going monitoring and continuous adaptation of the programme strategies. The research report confirmed that the process allowed educators to reflect on their relationship with learners and to develop new strategies in response to learner discipline. By the end of the research process, there were no reported incidents of corporal punishment at anyof the schools that participated in the programme.

“Your programme has definitely impacted every teacher here … because every meeting that I attended, I came back feeling good about myself … It made a big difference, even on the pupil” - SAID AN EDUCATOR OF A PRIMARY SCHOOL/ 30/11/2015

“ Other Positive Discipline engagements by SCSA, included seven seminars in seven provinces across the country, which targeted senior educators and members of the school’s management team. This involved a process of working closely with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) in the respective provinces, who assisted us to co-host the seminars. Educators found these sessions inspiring and useful and we had a direct reach of 477 educators from primary and secondary schools. In addition, five districts received training in Limpopo, which provides outreach to an additional 202 educators and 167 ECD practitioners were trained via six positive discipline training sessions. All of the people that received training work in ECD centres that ultimately impact 6488 young children. One educator indicated that “punishment is a shortcut to going nowhere.”

An educator from Ekurhuleni North district stated, “the presenters are realistic and “quote” the exact examples happening in classrooms. Their presentation was well organised with video clips relevant to the topic at hand” - KURHULENI NORTH, GAUTENG, 22/09/2015

Another indicated that “this must be compulsory to all teachers who are serving under the Department of Basic Education (DBE)” - NORTH WEST, 02/10/2015

Finally, following a presentation at the Discipline in Schools Summit hosted by the DBE, SCSA was invited to serve on the School Discipline Task Team (TT). The plan is to have the best practice model accredited by the South African Council of Educators (SACE), and to partner with DBE, to roll it out nationally.


as being at the camps, and were provided with opportunities to play and were stimulated in a safe environment.


The Ramazani family fled from the DRC because of conflict and came to South Africa with hopes of finding political refuge and a better future. The family faced daily hardship and barely managed to make a living. As a result of the attacks in April 2015, they did not feel safe or welcome in South Africa and sought refuge at one the Isipingo camps in Durban. Mrs Ramazani brought her baby to the SCSA Child Friendly Space to register her as a child at the camp. While reviewing the registration forms, one of our dedicated SCSA staff noticed that baby Zaina was about to celebrate her first birthday. She was inspired to give baby Zaina her first birthday party and quickly organised all the logistics. So for a day, 50 children completely forgot where they were, enjoyed the excitement and left with their party packs. For children like baby Zaina, the Child Friendly Space offered a sanctuary. Zainia’s father, thanked Save the Children South Africa, saying that before coming to the camp, Zainia was afraid, hungry and crying, but now she was happy.


A child protection system is made up of components, consisting of both formal and informal community based mechanisms that, when properly coordinated, work together to strengthen the protective environment around each child. The main components of effective Child Protection Systems, include laws and policies that are compliant with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and other international standards and good practice; meaningful coordination across government and between sectors at different levels; knowledge and data on child protection issues and good practices; effective regulation, minimum standards and oversight; preventive and responsive services; a skilled child protection workforce; adequate resources, including funding; children’s voices and participation; and an aware and supportive public.

SCSA focussed on the component of the ‘a skilled and committed workforce.’ and held eight training workshops on Understanding Children’s Rights and Project Planning Monitoring and Evaluation in seven provinces, of which 265 staff from local NGOs, CBOs and FBOs were affected. The participants felt that they are now able to.

An M&E framework more constructively and meaningfully, as well as understand the difference between activities, outputs and outcomes.

“The workshop was child sensitive and made me look at the laws through the eyes of a child.” - NORTHERN CAPE, 20/08/2015

“Thank you for organising this session - it is very relevant to the work that my organisation is doing” - KZN, 15/07/2015

“The practical exercises for participants made the workshop relevant”. - MPUMALANGA, 29/07/2015

In terms of corporal punishment in the home, SCSA coordinates the Working Group on Positive Discipline (WGPD), a network of civil society organisations and individuals, advocating for the banning of corporal punishment in the home and the use of nonviolent methods of discipline that promotes open communication between adult and child, builds a child’s self-confidence and self-discipline, and instils values of non-violence and mutual respect. SCSA also hosts and maintains the website of the WGPD (www.savethechildren.org.za/wgpd). It is envisaged that the Children’s Amendment Act will be tabled in 2016, so in the meantime members of the WGPD are engaging in community awareness and positive discipline programmes.


There are large-scale population movements in many parts of the world. These include children who move within and between countries, with or without an adult caregiver. Children on the move (CoM) refers to children who move, voluntary or involuntary within or between countries, with or without their parents or other primary caregivers, children who have been trafficked, seeking asylum, or migrate for economic reasons. In South Africa, these children often move in and out of different categories within the same journey or over time and need protection and support that is holistic, coherent and coordinated. It is difficult to estimate the number of CoM, as migration patterns are irregular, children cross the borders several times, and there is a lack of a proper registration and tracking system for identified CoM. Due their immigration status, CoM are vulnerable to violence, abuse and exploitation and often face difficulty when seeking assistance, protection and/or basic services, such as health and education.

Through our outreach, we reached 123 children in Mpumalanga, who received life-skills training, care and support, through daily attendance at the SCSA after school dropin centre. A further 85 children, who are not living with their parents, and their 42 caregivers in KZN, received monthly food parcels to help support them while they wait to be officially placed in foster care.

The Children on the Move (CoM) project involved an extensive mapping exercise of the services and resources available in the child protection system for unaccompanied migrant children. This led to key government departments and civil society organisations (CSOs) working together to develop an action plan and information packages. During the course of community dialogues in Limpopo, 868 community members were sensitised to the rights and protection needs of vulnerable children, including migrant children. The discussions focused on the role of communities and duty bearers, to provide support to vulnerable children, and to ensure better detection and referral of CoM. In addition, we trained a number of caregivers in child and youth care centres, to provide better care and support to children. We assisted 1,217 vulnerable children, including unaccompanied migrant children, in Limpopo to access essential services to be protected and provided with adequate care.

In April 2015, South Africa was rocked by a wave of xenophobic violence, resulting in families being driven from their homes. SCSA set up ‘child friendly safe spaces’ at four camps in Durban and Johannesburg for children whose families were displaced, as a result of xenophobic violence. Through these safe spaces, 437 children were registered


In 2015, Save the children South Africa (SCSA) continued to be one of the foremost national advocay and campaigning forces with, and for children, catalysing lasting change in the lives of chldren and their families. Central to this ambition ststement is that SCSA linked its programmes closely to advocacy and campaign messaging to ensure that evidence gathered from the children and communities, with who we work, informed the change for which we strive. SCSA worked with the decision makers at provincial and national levels, to safeguard the rights of children in South Africa

whose key audience are among others, policy makers, business, academia and other influential stakeholders who are fundamental in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in South Africa. The event took place on the 24th November 2015 and was a key highlight of the Post 2015 Campaign activities in South Africa. This dialogue attracted nearly 80 people and who represented citizens, business and Civil Society Organisations. Senior policy makers discussed and debated the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in South Africa. As further outreach, Save the Children South Africa got a four page spread in the Mail and Guardian, which provided further outreach to a larger South African audience.

SCSA continues to be active in the global Save the Children Post 2015 Campaign, seeking to influence South Africa’s position on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). We held negotiations in with South African government representatives in Pretoria and also worked closely with our colleagues in New York. The process includes making advocacy submissions to government departments such as the Department of health, social development and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), on Save the Children Post 2015 SDG positions, as well as organising advocacy events.


SCSA responded to a call for submissions to the South African parliament on the Children’s Second Amendment Bill 2015.

We were an active member of the Action 2015 coalition, the aim of which was to raise awareness about the SDG negotiations in New York and to encourage the South African government to take into account the needs of South Africans during the negotiations. SCSA acted as co-chairs of the coalition and facilitated the formation of a coalition, SACSoWACH, an alliance whose purpose is advocacy for children, adolescents, maternal and women’s health. The coalition seeks to increase public and relevant sectors’ awareness to raise the profile, seek political attention, and influence relevant policies, legal, political and social changes and hold government, health providers and others to account for the commitments made to women, adolescents and children.

Additionally, we continue to cooperate with our international colleagues at regional and global levels, to leverage South Africa’s role in the world for lasting changes for all children.


Save the Children South Africa (SCSA) held a colloquium to launch a research report on the readiness of countries to implement Sustainable Development Goal’s (SDG’s), The event attracted 30 notable participants from a wide range of civil society organisations and oversight bodies. This launch was the beginning of a series of conversations on the Post 2015 agenda in South Africa. The colloquium brought together civil society who committed to work together in Post 2015 advocacy efforts, for a more united voice. Organisations that participated were a good mix of representations of civil society, think tanks and academia. Other organisations in included the Institute for Global Dialogue (think tank), Hivos, Human Science Research Council, National Children’s Rights Committee, the University of South Africa, the Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Fund, Public Service Accountability Monitor (Rhodes University), the Global Initiative to End all Corporal Punishment of Children, PATH, the South African Human Rights Commission (constitutional oversight body), and African Monitor.

As co-chairs of the South Africa Action/2015 coalition, we participated in organising campaign activities in Cape Town and Johannesburg, where people, including children, gathered at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg and Milnerton beach in Cape Town in support of the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development. The Cape Town event attracted over 250 people and the Johannesburg event attracted about 500 people.

SCSA played a leading role in organising the Every Woman Every Child global strategy Pre-CSO meeting, which took place in Johannesburg on 2 May, a day before the Africa round consultations of this global strategy. SCSA was invited to the main consultations in which our CEO participated.

Save the Children South Africa held a Critical Thinking Forum with the Mail and Guardian newspaper, one of South Africa’s most respected national newspapers,


Child Rights Governance (CRG), is a thematic field aimed at creating child rights systems’ which deliver and monitor all political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights for children. It challenges and supports government to accelerate the implementation of all rights for children in all circumstances; and builds the capacity of citizens, including children and civil society organisations, to push for the realisation of children’s rights and hold governments to account for their responsibilities. CRG involves technical interventions, advocacy and policy work. CRG uses Child Rights Programming and Child Participation to achieve CRG goal and objectives.


it is invariably from an adult perspective and children’s voices are seldom heard. As a result, in July 2015 we provided Media Literacy Training to forty (40) children from Limpopo, Free State and the North West. The purpose of the training was to empower children, with skills to write, analyse and produce stories about their living conditions.

The scope of the training included:

a) How news get into a newspaper, b) Different styles of journalism,

c) Basics of report writing, d) What constitutes news,

e) How do conduct interviews, f) Being ethical as a reporter.


In 2013, the Government of South Africa submitted its initial report on the African Charter on the rights and welfare of the child to the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC). This committee however noted that there was no structured and systematic approach to promote meaningful child participation in South Africa. As a result, SCSA organised a National Consultation meeting in November 2015, to support the National Department of Social Development to develop a National Child Participation Framework.The key outcome of the meeting was the establishment of the National Task team. The primary purpose of the task team is to develop and implement the National Child Participation Framework that will guide meaningful child participation within the country.


We are a member of South African Alternate Report Coalition, which monitor the rights of the child and make recommendations regarding national policy review and programming across sector departments. The committee is made up of academic and developmental CSOs in SA. As a group, we actively participated by compiling and editing the shadow report, which was submitted to the UNCRC in November 2015. Furthermore, SCSA along with other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) supported and prepared children who were part of the CSOs delegation in February 2016, through briefing meetings. We are also provided financial support toward the children’s travelling arrangements.


We supported UNICEF Botswana to train forty (40) members of House of Chiefs in Botswana on children’s rights and child participation. The House of Chiefs is a critical stakeholder which influences decisions in Botswana. The training was well received and we have been requested to avail ourselves to provide the same training to Ministers in Botswana

The strategic goal of the Child Rights Governance programme is to ensure that all children benefit from a strengthened child-rights system that delivers and monitors the realisation of their rights.

A total of 256 children from 16 schools in Limpopo and the Free State participated in discussions with politicians on children’s rights ‘asks’. This submission served to represent the total number of 15,278 learners of the 16 schools.

Adults and traditional leaders, constituting 170 people in total were supported and trained in applying children’s rights in plans and budgets, in Botswana.

The Umtata Child Abuse Resource Centre (UCARC), our partner in the Eastern Cape, strengthened the local child protection system through supporting child protection committees that reported and referred 538 cases of children in need of protection. Support was granted to 20 children’s clubs, representing 525 children. This initiative included the provision of training to 2,521 Leaders in child protection and child rights issues at local municipalities, schools as well as to adults who serve on child protection committees.

Through the work of our partner, The Centre for Child Law, a partner to SCSA, strengthened the capacity of 1,545 duty bearers in the child protection system. This was made possible through various platforms, which was supported by the Centre for Child Law, in highlighting children’s rights via the judiciary system and aiding children’s rights through legal advice.


Without “political will and commitment” it is practically impossible to translate children’s rights into reality. We can only achieve dramatic change for children, if politicians are aware of children’s rights and are committed to prioritise them. In June 2015 we co-hosted a live radio talk-show with Motsweding FM which attracts an estimated listenership of 3,181,000 people. Fifty children from the four districts within the North West Province directly engaged politicians on air, who comprised members of the four biggest political parties in South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC), and Congress of the People (COPE), Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). The debate was dedicated to a discussion on children’s concerns, regarding service delivery at Municipal level and what they would like to see after the 2016 Local Government elections. As a result of this interaction, politicians made commitments to promote children’s rights and prioritise their needs, which will be properly outlined in the near future.


When issues that affect children and young adolescents receive media coverage,


How an organisation is perceived, is directly linked to its reputation; and growing an organisation’s reputation is dependent on the ability to sell its mandate to the public. Innovative marketing and communications strategies, a comprehensive understanding of consumer behaviour and aggressive delivery of ambitious plans are needed to bring about success. This is what separates one organisation from another and brings about the success of that organisation.

One of a marketing department’s function’s, is to continually look for new ways to grow the organisation’s proceeds. Strategic vision therefore mean, being on the lookout for new opportunities and creating plans for the organisation to benefit from these opportunities.

Save the Children South Africa (SCSA) aims to become the go-to children’s rights organisations in South Africa; through its vision and actions, SCSA will be a brand with which supporters will want to associate themselves. However, due to its status as an international organisation, SCSA is not seen as a South African organisation by many of its stakeholders in South Africa. As a result, our efforts in 2015 have been to begin the work of establishing our brand as a national, proudly South African organisation. It is therefore crucial to continue to build SCSA’ local identity, so that it can acquire trust as a credible ‘local’ voice, with authority of children in South Africa.

In April 2015, SCSA’s grant application to Google was approved to the value of R120,000 per month. This affords us the opportunity to promote SCSA through Google, allowing us to promote its mission and initiatives on Google search result pages.

During the same month, Sue Jones, SCSA’s Health and Nutrition Lead, climbed Kilimanjaro and raised close to R75,000 in just over just two months, for SCSA programmes. This was made possible through her #Trek4Children campaign, which challenged the public to follow in her footsteps by doing something good for children in South Africa.


As a result and over and above the funds raised, SCSA’S visibility increased on various platforms as follows:

  • KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education in iLembe District Schools’ Choral Music Competition on 5 -7 May 2015 featured the Save the Children logo/messaging in their programme for each day.
  • Trialogue CSI Conference 2015 profiled SCSA’s work at Trialogue’s virtual gallery exhibition; additional details that were profiled, included SCSA’s Strategy, Summary Strategy & History Book on SCSA
  • BodyFab Lifestyle Fitness Weekend where our CEO made a presentation on the work of SCSA; participants donated R3000 to support SCSA.
  • Staff members, walked for children during 702’s Walk the Talk, which attracts over 50,000 people each year. SCSA was interviewed and received several mentions by various announcers during the Walk.
  • Durban’s Ethekwini Municipality participated in a race, called Race for Survival, by way of getting 200 children to run the race. The purpose of the initiative was to demand better health services for mothers and children in South Africa.
  • SCSA launched its first internal and external e-newsletter. This platform will be used to share our work with internal & external audiences and give the public an opportunity to get involved in our work and to encourage financial donations.
  • SCSA was selected as one of the organisations who benefited from a cycle race, called PPP300 Cycle Challenge, a charity challenge by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), where a team of cyclist rode 300km from the Cape Wine lands to Still bay. This initiative helped raise nearly R35, 000 through PPP300 and their end of year Christmas function, where items were auctioned to support our work. Since media play a significant role in spreading information and raising awareness about our work, one of our greatest achievements of the year came when we launched our first radio campaign on Radio 702, a talk show radio station that deals with topical issues and current affairs. Their listenership of approximately 858,000 people, consist of top government and private sector executives, as well as a largely aspirational population, making it one of the ideal platforms on which to profile the work of SCSA.


The Save the Children advocacy team participated in several media interviews, which provided further marketing of SCSA.

These include:

  • Live radio interview on Bush Radio on the work of Save the Children South Africa
  • Live radio interview with Radio 2000 on Sustainable Development Goals
  • Coverage on Africa channel on the Post 2015 agenda
  • Live interview on Umhlobo Wenene (Xhosa Radio station) on Child Protection
  • Quoted in a Times Media article on Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Post 2015 agenda.
  • Published analysis piece in the Sunday Independent, on the Post 2015 Agenda.

In addition, SCSA’s digital visibility continues to grow:


Save the Children South Africa continues to build on its experience and historical partnerships. This allows us to develop a strong and sustainable organisation and to deliver quality programmes to children. Internationally, we form part of Save the Children’s global initiatives, achieving the right mix of supporters and access to key players, in the short and long term.


Corporate Partnerships remain a priority for fundraising. We secured three new partnerships, two of which made financial contributions to SCSA and a third, through a branding campaign in AVBOV and Please Products.

As is the case with these three new partners, we collaborate with corporations in a unique way by tailoring the association to meet the objectives of both parties.

Reckitt Benckiser (RB), a global partner raised R486,542.45 for Save the Children South Africa. RB, is a British multinational consumer goods company. It is a producer of health, hygiene and home products, which was formed in 1999 by the merger of the UK-based Reckitt & Colman plc and the Netherlands-based Benckiser NV.

AVBOB gave SCSA a donation of R60,000.00 towards our Literacy Boost programme in Mpumalanga. AVBOB is Africa’s largest Mutual Assurance Society, providing a one-stop funeral insurance and burial service solution. As a Mutual Assurance Society, AVBOB does not have any external shareholders and their policyholders benefit directly from its successes. The partnership with SCSA seeks to create a culture of enriched reading and learning.

Please Products, a proudly South African company that focuses on creating a commercially sustainable and community driven initiatives. They provide a platform for stimulating economic and social change through manufacturing quality products (energy drinks, water, etc.) at an affordable rate, for individuals to sell directly or distribute them at a profit, thus creating sustainable revenue. They partnered with SCSA, to increase the brand awareness of both parties through a co-branding exercise in branding 100,000 cans of energy drinks, the marketing value of which was R1m.


Head office: 1067 Arcadia Street SAQA House,

2nd Floor Hatfield, Pretoria | Tel: +27 (0)12 430 7775 | Fax: +27 (0)12 430 7776

General Inquiries: info@savethechildren.org.za

For existing donors or supporters: supporters@savethechildren.org.za

Save the Children South Africa CIPC Registration No. 012/019616/08;

a registered NPO, No. 104-961-NPO and PBO, No. 930 040 924.