The Soul City Institute extends its condolences to the family of Lufuno Mavhunga

The Soul City Institute extends its condolences to the family of Lufuno Mavhunga, the 15-year-old learner who allegedly committed suicide as a result of alleged bullying at school.

As an intersectional feminist institute, committed to the well-being of girls and women, the SCI’s programmes include work with children aged 8 – 14 years in primary schools, in order to create platforms to give voice to children and to promote action for children’s health and well-being. 

Among the objectives of the Soul Buddy’z Clubs, is to teach children life skills that focus on health and reproductive rights and health, but also to empower children to understand and deal with bullying and violence in all its forms.

Bullying is a manifestation of the broader scourge of violence permeating South Africa.  It is an impediment to the realization of the rights contained in our Constitution.  

The video circulating on social media of the violence and humiliation inflicted on Lufuno Mavhunga should put us all to shame as a nation.  It is encumbent on us all to work towards the attainment of the rights for which many struggled and died and which are now enshrined in the founding document of our constitutional democracy. 

The violence and bullying that has become entrenched in schools – institutions that should play a critical role in ensuring that children’s fundmantal rights to safety, care and education are protected.

The SCI deeply regrets the passing of Lufuno Mavhunga and all other children, girls and adults subjected to victimization and bullying and who are not provided all the protections enshrined in law, namely the right to dignity, freedom, security of person, and the right to an education. 

The SCI calls on the National Department of Education and all the adults entrusted with the care of learners to execute their responsibilities with due regard for the rights of children as enshrined in Section 28 of the Constitution.

With 25 years of work in the field of health and development and in social and behaviour change communications and advocacy, the SCI is convinced that it is possible for us to achieve the ideals of equality, dignity, freedom and education for all, in environments that are nurturing, compassionate and which puts the rights of the child at the top priority.

To this end, the SCI would like to encourage all schools, teachers, principles, and learners to inculcate and encourage the spirit of Soul Buddy’z clubs, with regular meetings, discussions, activities on violence and bullying, so we can begin to eradicate the toxic culture of violence that perpetuates all sectors of our society.  And which has had and is having tragic consequences on the most vulnerable in our society. 

All Soul City’s resources – for Soul Buddy’z Clubs and Rise Young Women’s Clubs – are available for free download from our website.

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