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We are never given the privilege of meeting the victims but often have feedback from the station commanders, doctors and community workers.
FCP has been a blessing to thousands of children over the past 12 years and would like to continue to be so.
-  FCP Committee [2014]

 

FCP Feedback from FCS Units and Hospitals -

 

From Mosaic Training Service and Healing centre for women


From Carla Brown, Head of the Social Work Department at the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital

Dear Flo and the team

We have not provided you or your committee with feedback for a while – we apologise.

The Red Cross Children’s Hospital Social Work Department continues to see more than 40 child abuse cases per month. We continue to provide patients with the comfort pack which the Friends of Child Protection provides.

When a child is abused or suspected to have been abused, the visit to the hospital is rarely a planned event. Instead, the child and caretaker is in a state of shock, gets admitted as an emergency, it is often not safe for the child to be discharged home without a police and social work investigation. The toiletry pack is a welcomed resource and essential item which is needed for basic self-care, and adds to making the patient comfortable and comforted, giving an additional way to say that we care about them. Many children and their caretakers are so surprised when they get the care pack – and it is just a great pity that the Friends of Child Protection cannot be here to receive the big smile or little glimpse of a smile and a thank you for the surprise gift in the child’s time of need and heart sore.

Confidentiality does not make it possible for us to take photos of children holding their comfort pack and this makes this process of donation so invisible as you cannot get the THANK YOU and confirmation your volunteers and donors deserve. The one fact that I can however share is that the number of child abuse cases are not decreasing. Instead, as the media shows, 2017 has been a sad and horrific year thus far for child safety and protection. With 21 children murdered in the Western Cape to date, child abuse is a horrific reality which we are facing and fighting in the Western Cape. There is no justification for these senseless murders and child abuse incidents but unfortunately it has never abated.

The donation of the comfort pack will not provide us with answers as to why this onslaught on our Western Cape children is happening but it is a helping hand to begin the child protection and healing process.

So, from the team of Social Workers at Red Cross Children’s Hospital, we send our sincere appreciation to
every person who donates in money or in items for the pack;
every person who volunteers time to sort and package;
every person who send e-mails and repeat e-mails;
every person who prays for this project, its donors, its volunteers, its recipients and its impact;
every person who helps in the distribution.
We remain thankful and motivated to continue in our work because of your efforts and contributions too.

Please Flo, if you cannot meet the request in full, never feel that you are failing us. We will understand because we have witnessed how hard you all work to get the items or money donated for these comfort packs.

Take care, keep warm and may God bless you and your team always

Regards
Carla and all the Social Workers at Red Cross Children’s hospital


Below, the heart warming thank you from a child who received one of our comfort packs… it was sent to us by
Boni Mogale, Site Coordinator in the Khayelitsha Thuthuzela Forensic Centre at Khayelithsa Hospital.

Thank You_resize


From a child victim (actual letter)

Dear Friends of Child Protection

My name is [withheld]. I want to thank you for the gift I have received. Everything inside was needed. I ate all the eats the same day. I wear the panties at school and I use the towel every day, the small teddy bear is my friend.

Thank you very much.


From Dr Donavan M. Andrews, District Surgeon Department of Health, Facility Manager, Karl Bremer Hospital, Thuthuzela Care Centre

RE: POSITIVE IMPACT OF CHILD COMFORT PACKS

Good day to you. I hope you are well.

My name is Dr Donavan Mark Andrews.

For the last 7 years of Karl Bremer Thuthuzela’ s existence the Friends of Child Protection have been providing comfort packs to our child victims.

These packs are invaluable in the assistance of these victims. They contain underwear which is vital since we often have to take the original underwear of the victim into evidence. They contain a soft toy or activity pack eg crayons which provides psychological comfort to the victim. They contain  toiletries which are important since the victim often showers after we have examined them and this helps the victim freshen up. Lastly the pack contains a snack which is important since the victim may have to wait in a queue to be seen and this gives them some sustenance to endure the wait.

With kind regards


From the letter of Lt Col Jan Swart, Unit Commander, Mitchell’s Plein FCS Unit, 2012

You will never know the true extent of FCP’s impact of the victims. We saw it at the units but you never really did. What FCP has done will always stand as an example of what can be achieved by committed people fuelled by compassion for others and a dogged determination to mend a broken system. Whether FCP continues to exist in its current form, has to undergo changes or ultimately ceases to operate altogether; what you have done is unmatched in SAPS history and is unlikely to ever be replicated. It’s a sad fact that you’ll probably only be truly appreciated after you’re gone. But let’s be positive: remember how many times funding came from nowhere when it was needed the most in the past? Cometh the moment…


From Dr Genine Josias, Simelela Centre

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.


From Capt Nortje, Goodwood Child Protection Unit

That which should not be commonplace, has become commonplace  ̶ The continuous rape and abuse of children throughout South Africa.  


From Kerrin Marcon after visiting one of the Child Protection Units, 2002

There was such a sense of hopelessness about the place, unattractive and gloomy. They did not even have anything with which to make tea! While we were there, Supt Swart showed us a two-litre ice cream box in which were packed several items and explained that this was what was given to children who had been sexually abused, but that they were no longer getting these “Rape Crisis Packs”. When we opened the box, and saw the items it contained, our hearts were deeply touched by the need and the vulnerability of the child victims of violent abuse.


From Capt Paul Moss, Nyanga FCS Unit in a TV interview when FCP was named  “Nedbank Hero of the Month”

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.”


From Capt Amanda van Niekerk, Mitchell’s Plain FCS Unit

“The little girl was as stiff as a plank, cold and scared. We gave her a Comfort Pack and as we opened it and gave her the toy, she hugged it close to her and slowly began to relax and we were able to speak to her and take her to the hospital”

[The four-year-old child in question had been kidnapped that morning. It had rained all day. She had been found, raped and in shock that afternoon behind a bus shelter.]

From Capt Roché Iffley, Khayelitsha FCS Unit, 16 November 2009

“Let us paint a picture of a child who has been raped and traumatised and still hungry. Yet the child has to inform us what happened. The least we can attempt to do is to make this picture a little less threatening and uncomfortable for the child. Thanks to Friends of Child Protection we are assisted in our task of bringing comfort to our survivors of sexual offences.”


From someone who recently wrote a letter to our organization

“Thank you for letting God shine through you to children in darkness they never deserved to be in.”  


From Sister Olivia Pharo, Trauma Unit, Wesfleur Hospital, 2013

Good Day To Friends of child protection

We at Wesfleur Hospital would like to take this opportunity to extend a heartfelt gratitude for all that you have donated. We see this as a necessity in our hospital, as you might know that our hospital has seen a large number of rape victims.

In our community we are burden with the poorest of the poor which is breeding a culture of drug, alcohol and sexual abuse.  As a hospital and a community we must try to do everything we can to combat the issue of rape and we must unite to support our innocent victims, of this traumatic and horrendous crime. With this in mind we would like to urge you to continue the generous donations of the packs to our hospital, as this has become a pivotal part of our rape survivor service.

The packs can be seen as a toolkit which contains all the necessities needed for all the victims to aid them in the cleaning process, which helps us support them and ease their minds. It is also very valuable as the community we serve is seen as a very low income community and we see a large majority of the population in the area falling into the very poor bracket. These items found in the packs are an amazing aid to this [sic]people as they are unable to possess these necessities on a daily basis.

So with this letter I wish firstly to thank you for the support you have given and we wish to have the honour saying that we have the continued support and donations from you, which will be an immense help to us and the community we serve and care for so dearly. Thank you.