Keep an eye on the kids

Johann Kikillus, director, Soteria Ministries

With the reality of the coronavirus finally upon us, I wish to raise an enormous concern that government has not yet spoken of.

This afternoon, I received a message saying that the Minister of Social Development has instructed all ECDs to shut down as of Wednesday March 18.

This raises some practical issues. For instance, many of the children who attend Ocean View Care Centre only eat proper food when they are with us.

A large number simply do not eat wholesome food while at home and come to us very hungry.

Secondly, we know that while they are with us, they are safe. On the streets, especially at this time in Ocean View, it is extremely dangerous.

Not a single park is safe in Ocean View.

Thirdly, we know the kids are looked after by dedicated helpers at the Care Centre. Many of these small children will be alone at home.

Last, but not least, we are able to keep a watchful eye over their well-being by looking daily for signs of abuse or neglect.

Now for almost a full month, these 135 children, aged between 3 and 6, will be completely out of our sight.

I shudder to think what will happen to the most vulnerable of them.

Please could the community be extra vigilant. This goes for the thousands of vulnerable children across the province as well.