As we focus this week on protecting and safeguarding children, raising awareness to our beneficiaries and staff, we have decided to zoom in. Instead of generally talking about child protection, we looked at an issue that is on the spotlight in our nation, that is critical and worthy to dive into with focus for this week at Sozo.

Our hearts were broken at the news of Lufuno, the young lady who took her own life after a bullying incident which was filmed. So, as we wear our green ribbons this week, we hold her dear to our hearts and we go a step further; asking our learners, whose responsibility is it to look out for Lufuno? Lufuno is you, it is me, is every boy and girl next to us. What we hope to instill is a sense of duty for each person, that we are our brother’s keepers, that we can stand up against bullying, that when we are the bully, we stop first to think how it will impact the other person, that intervention and not recording on your phone is what will make the difference. The protection of children is also the duty of children as they make shared spaces safe for each other.

We reflected on that sad incident and asked what the role of each young person is to stop more lives from perishing and our learners gave this feedback:

“What I can do to stop bullying is to speak out for those who feel that they have no voice. I can speak to others and ensure that I am available to listen. Create an anti-bullying club at school with leaders from every grade to assist. I can start an initiative whereby you come into the school and if you are being bullied you can drop in the name of the person anonymously in a certain box and ensure that it’s taken a step further. I must ensure that I myself am not being a bully to others.”

“To stand up for those who are afraid to talk and stand for themselves.”

“Try to speak up, tell someone that I trust if I’m being bullied.”

“What I think should be done is that we as learners should be educated about bullying and the implications it will have on those who we are bullying so we can try our best to treat others better.”

“Bullying starts with young people, our mentality should change. We should find better and polite ways to treat others. As young people we have the power to influence, we can easily influence each other into indulging an impulsive behaviour, but we should rather indulge each other into spreading courtesy.”

“Protect your friends or peers by standing up for them against the bullying. Try and talk to the bully, maybe he has anger issues or has trouble at home or somewhere.”

“I personally think that I am able to be their voice. To address those who are being bullied and the bully themselves… It is all about speaking out when you can and not hold it in, otherwise it can eat you up alive. Yeah!”

The Sozo Foundation Psycho-Social Team!