Safety clinics to be held at Parow schools

Parow resident Jimi Bertrand’s increasing frustration with the abuse of women and children in our country led to the idea of a safety and security clinic.

The clinic will be held next week in conjunction with Parow police.

Mr Bertrand, who is originally from the capital city of Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo, is the founder of Spirituality Media, a non-profit website focusing on family and women issues.

He is a qualified media practioner who received training through the Media Development Diversity Agency (MDDA).

“I saw a story in the newspaper about a little girl who was raped and killed in Elsies River and I was shocked. I wrote to the police about my idea for the clinic and met with Captain Kevin Williams two weeks ago.

“The clinic will aim to provide children with tips to protect themselves from would-be perpetrators. I don’t have any children of my own but my friends do. I don’t know what I would do if my child was raped.”

The first safety and security clinic was held yesterday, Tuesday July 11 at the El Theos pre-school in Parow. The pre-school is an offshoot of the All Star Academy which has since closed down.

Principal Bijou Bakole said the pre-school caters for close to 17 children; most of them foreign nationals.

“I teach them the basics of mathematics and English to help them cope at mainstream schools. We have children who are from Burundi, Congo, Zimbabwe, Angola, Malawi, Zambia and Nigeria who attend the pre-school. They struggle at school because many of them speak French, Portuguese and Swahili as a first language,” she said.

Mr Bertrand said he is passionate about highlighting the abuse of women and children.

“I am very serious about this and hope to host these clinics in other areas around Cape Town. I just can’t fathom how an adult male can be attracted to a child.”

He also plans to organise a talk at Parow High School on Wednesday August 2, at 9am, and hopes to have MP Denise Robinson, the DA representative for women, present.

“High school girls experience many challenges around their self-esteem and this talk will aim to empower the modern girl child,” he said.

Captain Williams, spokesman for Parow police, confirmed that they will host a 20-minute audio visual safety presentation this week.

“I host these talks at various schools in the Tygerberg cluster. I started this initiative due to the widespread child killings in the province. I want to call on other organisations to come forward with similiar ideas.”

Call him on 021 929 7000.

To learn more call Mr Bertrand on 078 948 8782; email jbertrand71@gmail.com or visit www.spiritualitymedia.simplesite.com