FCP focuses on supporting child victims in the first few hours of trauma by giving each child a Comfort Pack. Comfort Packs are designed to soothe and comfort a child victim of sexual abuse during the time they have to wait at police stations and hospitals for questioning and a traumatic medical examination. The Comfort Packs are given directly to abused children by Doctors/Nurses, Investigating Officers or Social Workers.
We can do our job when we pick up these kids, but when we give them a
Comfort Pack, I don’t know why, but it somehow seems to restore some self-respect to them.
– Capt Paul Moss, Nyanga FCS Unit
The Packs are age and gender appropriate and include basic necessities such as underwear and toiletries (sanitary towels, face cloth, soap, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste). They also contain items to soothe and comfort the children such as bubbles, balls, spinning tops, notebooks, pencils and soft toys.
Included in every Comfort Pack is a Snack Pack, containing a packet of biscuits, a sachet of instant soup and a fruit juice. These children often have to wait many hours at police stations or at hospitals for medical attention or at the Wynberg Children’s Court to testify. The Snack Pack provides sustenance for them during this period.
For many, these Comfort Packs are the first new items they have ever received, and often the first items that belong entirely to them, even though, in most cases, the toothbrush, facecloth, soap and deodorant are used by the whole family.
The overwhelming majority of our clients are in an acute state of
distress when they present to Simelela for help.
The children often cry and are scared of the unknown.
It is such a joy, relief and great help when the smiles appear on
the client’s faces, when we hand your comfort packs over to them.
It softens the harsh pain and reality that children and parents have to face.
– Dr Genine Josias, Simelela Centre
We have come to realize that the emotional benefit of these Packs far exceeds
their physical contents and they have a large impact on the children who receive them.