Schools art competition raised awareness of human trafficking

This striking poster by Onda Sokuyeka of Victoria Park Grey Primary School was the winning picture in the primary school category. [CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE]

Several school principals who attended the prize giving for a schools art competition on human trafficking in Port Elizabeth said they had not been aware that human trafficking happens in their communities and felt empowered to further educate their learners on the issue, reports Amanda van der Westhuizen of the Nelson Mandela Bay Justice Coalition (NMBJC).

She says Grade 6 to Grade 9 learners participated in the event which was arranged by the Department of Education in Port Elizabeth as part of its Human Rights Week. NMBJC sponsored prizes for the competition in which primary school children created make posters about child and labour trafficking while high school learners made posters about sex trafficking.  Teachers were given information on human trafficking and taught the children what it is and how to protect themselves from being trafficked.

All of the art competition winners with their teachers and school principals, parents, Dr Adriaan Lombaard from the Department of Education who organised the competition and Major Margaret Stafford from the Salvation Army which sponsored a beautiful, large dictionary for the school with the best group effort — Daniels Primary School.

“Proverbs 31: 8-9 is one of the motivations for raising awareness among communities. ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.’ It is important to us at the coalition and for Christians to speak up about the injustice of human trafficking. We also felt that by educating children and teachers about the crime, we can limit the vulnerability of children, especially those children who are part of vulnerable populations,” she says.

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