Gauteng Province is the most populous province of South Africa, with a population of 13 million people, one quarter of the population of South Africa. Ekurhuleni comprises several sprawling townships and informal settlements with a population of around 3 million. However, it lacks the same profile, attention and support as other areas in the region, but the need is immense:
Children are left vulnerable in these circumstances and experience high rates of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, peer relationship difficulties, suicidal urges, delinquency and homelessness. An appalling 29% of sexual offences reported to the police involve minors under 18, 34% of children experience physical abuse, 17% witness violence and the child homicide rate is 5.5 per 100,000 – twice the global average. 11% of people are HIV+ and 25% of new daily infections are cases of young women.
It is an extraordinarily difficult place to be a child, in these circumstances children are denied the possibility of reaching their full potential in life and the right to dignity for themselves and their families. The future of South Africa is in their hands.