A campaign to encourage South Africans, in particular pupils to pledge against bullying and sexual violence at schools was unveiled in conjunction with Youth Day.
Referred to as the “Ubuntu Pledge”, the campaign is going to encourage pupils and teachers throughout the country to sign the pledge during the course of national visits. The campaign comes after requests from organisations and individuals countrywide who offered assistance to stand against such acts.
The pledge at the same time commits individuals to uphold the constitutional values including human dignity, non-racism and non-sexism. Furthermore, it commits to “foster an environment of mutual respect both inside and outside of the classroom,” reporting all wrongdoing and encourages pledgers to “embrace boldness, loyalty and honesty.”
The campaign is a joint collaboration between Proudly South Africa, the Department of Basic Education and the Department of Women, Children and People With Disabilities, to name a few, in the aftermath of the Soweto girl who was ganged raped by a group of youth in April this year.
The incident was also recorded on a cell phone and went virul across the internet received national condemnation.
Giving a presentation at the launch, Proudly SA CEO, Leslie Sedibe pointed out that they were fully commited to the campaign and that the nation must never go through the incident ever again.
“As South Africans we must never accept the abhorrent crimes as a way of life in our country. It goes against every gain of our humanity,” he was quoted saying, adding that individuals must drive the message to the youth that abuse and violence was not acceptable and would not be tolerated.
Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Enver Surty stated the launch occurring on Youth Day, reveals a great deal with regards to the way forward for the country. Younger generation must follow and take lessons from the 1976 generation who stood up for what they believed in and have pride.
Just as much as youth have rights, these rights come along with responsibility, said the deputy minister.
He called the younger generation to uphold the principles of respect, honestly, integrity and mutual respect for other people.
Various other partners of the national campaign also include The National Prosecuting Authority, the Film and Publication Board, Crime Line, POWA, Princess of Africa Foundation, SHOUT, Orlando Pirates Football Club, Zinto Activation Group and the International Federation of Christian Churches (IFCC).
Celebrities such as Yvonne Chaka Chaka, PJ Powers, Baby Jake Matlala, Miss SA Teen Celeste Khumalo, have also offered assistance and joined as partners in the national campaign. They will serve as role models for the youth and take part in school visits.