Operation Bobbi Bear in dire need

IN SPITE of funding challenges, Operation Bobbi Bear continues to touch the lives of some 4,500 children every month.
The organisation assists by offering counselling to survivors of abuse, conducting edu-toy presentations at schools, debriefing families who have been hijacked or robbed in their homes and helping children who have witnessed crimes.

“Through our edu-toy programme we are taking awareness of abuse to schools and teaching children to speak up,” said administrative director, Eureka Olivier.”
However, with funds at an all-time low, the organisation’s support groups, including the Illovo Tree Clinic, has been closed for the last three weeks. It will only re-open in January. “It’s extremely heartbreaking because when people see our beautiful house, they think we are rich. It’s not the case, the fully paid for house was donated to us four years ago. We have to find the money to maintain it, including monthly overheads.”

Bobbi Bear is in desperate need of food, good quality second-hand clothing, nappies and sanitary pads for the week of Christmas. “We are turning away people who want to donate a swimming pool or awnings for the house, as our biggest current need is food.”
Eureka thanks the Toti community for its loyal support and for understanding the work they do. Some people also believe the house is an orphanage, which is not so. “It is a rapid response emergency rescue facility for children we have removed from horrific situations. A child can stay here for a night or up to six weeks, until alternative arrangements can be made for them. Children come and go all the time, unfortunately some people believe it is a permanent home for children. People want to hand out goodies to them and don’t understand why the children are no longer here when they return at a later date.”

With the festive season approaching, the organisation is also preparing to hit the peak season dealing with cases of rape and abuse. Bobbi Bear will not shut down over the holidays, it will be open on a 24-hour basis with staff on standby.
“We will also be patrolling the beaches and helping lost or abandoned children.” Some of the cases they are currently involved in are the death of baby, Jamie Faith Naidoo in Chatsworth, after they received a request to be present at a bail hearing for the child’s mother and grandmother.

A second case on its books is that of a 10-year-old girl who was raped and stabbed 25 times in Inchanga. Closer to home, the organisation traced a mother who had abandoned her two children six years ago, to a local shopping centre. “She was arrested last Friday. She left the children with a friend who approached Bobbi Bear for help.”
With the 16 days of activism of no violence against women and children having concluded on Wednesday, 10 December, the NGO does not support the hype created around the initiative. “Bobbi Bear does not believe in the 16 days of activism. What about the other 349 days of the year? Millions of rands are spent, including R2-million on T-shirts and banners. That money can keep Bobbi Bear’s doors open for three years. T-shirts and banners will not solve abuse. We don’t believe the campaign has been effective over the years, as child abuse is rife, we are dealing with cases throughout the year.”

Eureka believes the money could be well spent on helping keep NGOs open, people who work on the ground with communities.
With schools having closed on Wednesday, she advised working parents to know the whereabouts of their children and whose care they are in. “A child sex offender is not always a stranger, it can be someone living in your complex or a family member. You cannot trust anyone with your children.”

Children are precious. “Speak to stay-at-home mothers, perhaps they can look after a small group of children. Don’t let your children frequent shopping centres on their own, be aware of their whereabouts at all times.”
Of utmost importance is an open line of communication between parents and children. ” Believe your children, get the right advice if you are unsure, contact us.”
Contact Bobbi Bear on 031-904-2424.

  AUTHOR
jenny bipat

Latest News

COMMENTS

Top
Next Story x
Whoonga dealer bust at Winklespruit shopping centre [PHOTOS]

Thanks for your referral. We have no doubt your friends will love our newsletter as much as you!

Don't forget to verify your email.

to our FREE newsletter
SUBSCRIBE to our FREE newsletter.




SELECT your titles:

South Coast Sun
Southlands Sun


Get regular news updates sent directly to your inbox.

Your source of local breaking news and trending stories from across the country.

Be a part of our growing community

1MILFacebook Fans
98KTwitter Followers
5MILMonthly Readers
12MILArticles Published Every Month
72Local Community Websites

SUBSCRIBE to our FREE newsletter

SELECT your titles:

South Coast Sun
Southlands Sun

Get regular news updates sent directly to you inbox.

Your source of local breaking news and trending stories from across the country.

Be a part of our growing community

Subscribe Here
1MILFacebook Fans
98KTwitter Followers
5MILMonthly Readers
12MILArticles Published Every Month
72Local Community Websites
Your details:


Your friends: